Former Valparaiso men’s basketball player Joaquim Gomes, who sported the Crusader uniform from 2000 through 2004, is currently playing for his home country of Angola in the 2008 Olympic Games being contested in Beijing, China.
Gomes, in his second Olympiad as a member of the Angolan national team, has started both games for Angola thus far. In the opener against Germany, the 6’7” forward played 29 minutes, scoring two points and pulling down eight rebounds. Earlier today against the United States, Gomes played 25 minutes and led all players with eight rebounds while also scoring four points. Through two games, Gomes is tied for fourth among all players in rebounding with 16 boards, trailing just China’s Yao Ming, Iran’s Hamed Ehadadi and Argentina’s Andres Nocioni.
The 2008 squad marks the third time that Gomes has been chosen to participate in the Olympics for Angola. Gomes passed up the chance to play in 2000 to begin attending Valparaiso immediately, where he finished his four-year career fifth in program history in rebounding and third in blocked shots. Gomes has also helped guide Angola to back-to-back gold medals at the 2005 and 2007 African Championships, and earned Most Valuable Player honors at the latter event.