Nearly every time coach Mike Krzyzewski and USA Basketball boss Jerry Colangelo stage a reunion in their hometown, there's plenty of backslapping, a trophy gleaming in the background and the only thing they have to protect is their cocktails. This time around, it's about safeguarding the Olympic legacy the two built over more than a decade.
Long before the Olympics, Kami Craig was just another homesick kid at her first travel water polo tournament. She called her mom, Dale, and mothers being who they are, she drove from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to see her little girl.
Sometimes, when Paula Lynn Obanana and Eva Lee travel to badminton tournaments, they book rooms in the official hotel. But not always. "A lot of times, it's too expensive," said Obanana, a former Twin Cities resident. "We just can't afford it."
Claressa Shields won a gold medal as the most dominant fighter in London at the first Olympic women's boxing tournament. After reigning atop the amateur sport for the ensuing three years, the ferocious American middleweight was favored to win gold again in Rio de Janeiro.
It seems fitting that Jimmy Butler will take the United Center floor for a Team USA practice on Thursday and a Friday scrimmage versus Venezuela with such high-profile teammates as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.