Sam Balter

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Olympic medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's basketball
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1936 Berlin Team competition

Samuel "Sam" Balter, Jr. (October 15, 1909 – August 8, 1998) was an American basketball player.


He competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics. As a Jew, he had some hesitation about playing in the Olympics hosted by Hitler's Germany, but was persuaded when he was assured by Avery Brundage that there would be no Nazi propaganda at the games.[1]

He was part of the American basketball team, which won the gold medal. He played two matches, but not the final match in which the US team won the gold medal. He was one of a number of Jewish athletes who won medals at the Nazi Olympics in Berlin in 1936.[2]

Before the Olympics, Balter played college basketball at UCLA and for an amateur basketball team sponsored by Universal Pictures.

Balter later turned his celebrity into a career as a Los Angeles sportscaster beginning his career on radio before moving into television.[3] Balter was the broadcast announcer for the Los Angeles Stars of the American Basketball Association before the ABA-NBA merger.[4] He also appeared in a number of movies and television shows, always portraying a radio announcer or sportscaster.

Personal life[edit]

Balter was married and had a daughter. He died as a result of complications from abdominal surgery on August 8, 1998.[3]

See also[edit]


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