After the first appearance of basketball as an exhibition sport in the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, it came of age in 1936, when it was included as part of the competition program of the Olympic Games held in Berlin. Two major landmarks for this international recognition of basketball were the foundation of FIBA in 1932 and the great success of the first European Championship in 1935.

Without a doubt, the dominant power in the history of the Olympic Basketball Tournament is the United States (with 12 gold medals out of 16 editions played), although in recent years this supremacy has been disputed by other nations, in spite of the presence in the American team of professional NBA players (which were not eligible before 1992).


• Official FIBA scores and statistics extended and corrected with multilingual edition. All the names of players, referees, courts, and cities are written in their original spelling (or a standard transcription into Latin characters, in the case of other alphabets). This is the reason why some names may slightly differ in form with respect to other unstandardized information sources.