Orange Fizz


Donnie Freeman and The Bahamas fall just short of Olympic qualification

An impressive Olympic basketball streak for Syracuse men’s hoops is likely coming to a close this month. After five straight Olympics with either a player, alumni or coach playing in the Olympics, that run seems to be coming to an end with the 2024 Paris games.

The last hope for Syracuse was incoming freshmen Donnie Freeman and The Bahamas, who were hoping to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in the nation’s history. And they got close, making it all the way to the final on Sunday against Spain. But FIBA’s second-ranked team in the world proved to be too much for The Bahamas with an 86-78 win in the qualification tournament championship. 

It was the only loss of the tournament for The Bahamas, who defeated Finland, Poland and Lebanon to make it to the final. The Bahamas had a loaded squad, with NBA players like Buddy Hield, Deandre Ayton and Eric Gordon leading the effort. 

With such an experienced squad, Freeman had limited playing time. The forward only recorded playing time in the opening game of the tournament, a 96-85 win over Finland. Freeman shot 0-for-3 in six minutes but did have two assists.

Syracuse’s other hope for an Olympic basketball player came in the form of alum Oshae Brissett, who is fresh off a NBA title with the Boston Celtics, was one of 20 players invited to the Canadian national team training camp. 12 players would make the final cut, with Brissett having a chance to make it.

But he was far from a lock, and he decided his focus would be better spent on his current NBA free agency. Thus he asked to withdraw from the Canadian training camp, and shortly after was released. 

With both Brissett and Freeman now out of the picture, it seems as if Syracuse will have no representation, barring any late roster changes.

Carmelo Anthony began the streak, representing the United States in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Jim Boeheim joined him as an assistant coach in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Additionally in 2016 Michael Gbinije played for Nigeria. At the 2021 Tokyo game, Jerami Grant represented Team USA.

While Freeman and The Bahamas may have fallen short, the international experience is sure to help the highly-touted recruit this upcoming fall.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


Copyright © 2022 Orange Fizz

To Top