08/19/2010 – Aquinas College Men's Basketball Coach, Dave Hammer, once again led Team USA to a gold medal at this year's United World Games. The feat marks the second consecutive year that the Hammer led squad brought home the gold.
The United States of America Athletes International (USAAI) is an organization that selects players to compete in several events overseas each year in the United World Games. Coach Hammer and his team not only got to play a little basketball with teams from all around Europe, they also got to see and tour cities such as Milan and Venice in Italy and Munich, Germany. Team USA also got to see and experience Klagenfurt, Austria, the actual location of the United World Games 2010. Klagenfurt is also the home of the Euro Cup for soccer.
United World Games is very popular in Europe, drawing about 5,000 athletes from countries all over Europe and selected players from the United States who come together in many different sporting contests, such as basketball, soccer, volleyball and team handball. All the games were set up in a round-robin style where you get to play every team once, and the top two team played in the final game for the gold medal.
Team USA won all five games at the United World Games in Klagenfurt to capture the gold medal. One of the players, Tony Johnson from Midland, commented on his experience at the games. "As I think back to the trip, a few key things will stay fresh in my mind for a long time. The first was playing for two college coaches and learning about the style of coaching at the next level. I was lucky that the head coach, Dave Hammer (from Aquinas College), was from Michigan and I really respected his leadership on and off the court. His assistant, Rod Hathaway, is an AAU coach who has worked with Olivet College. They both really helped us maneuver around Europe and knew how to bring a group of players with different skills, personalities and talents together to really be a team."
Congrats Coach and Team USA!!!