Doug Collins

Doug Collins, the Illinois State All-American, won a silver medal in the 1972 Summer Olympics.

RANDY REINHARDT | RREINHARDT@pantagraph.com

Doug Collins earned a silver medal in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.

Many believe to this day he actually earned a gold.

The former Illinois State All-American was a central figure in perhaps the most controversial moment in Olympic history as a member of the United States basketball team.

Collins sank two free throws with three seconds remaining to give the Amercans a 50-49 lead in the gold medal game against the Soviet Union.

The Soviets inbounded the ball and the clock hit zero only to have time put back on the clock after a claim that a timeout had been called. Time ran out again as the Soviets failed to score, but they were given a third chance when it was decided by an international basketball official that a timing error had been made.

On the third attempt, Alexander Belov turned a long pass into a game-winning shot.

Collins and the rest of the U.S. team, who had celebrated victory twice, were devastated and steadfastly refuse to accept the silver medal more than 40 years later. A silver medal that holds considerably better memories belongs to former University High School volleyball star Ogonna Nnamani.

Nnamani, who also enjoyed an All-American career at Stanford, was part of the American women’s volleyball team that competed in Athens, Greece, in 2004 before earning a silver medal in 2008 at Beijing, China.

Bloomington High School also has produced an Olympian in distance runner Christin Wurth-Thomas.

Wurth-Thomas qualified for the 2008 Games in the 1,500-meter run. She finished eighth in a preliminary round race and did not advance to the finals.

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