DOB: 16 February 1958
Place of birth: Rio Grande do Norte (BRA)
Position: Shooting Guard
In the history of FIBA basketball, there have been few players who could match the offensive skills and resourcefulness displayed by Oscar Schmidt.
The 6ft 8in Brazil star nicknamed ‘Mano Santa’ (Holy Hand), turned down the possibility to play in the NBA in order to ensure that he could play in international competitions at a time when the International Olympic Committee prohibited the participation of professionals in its tournaments.
Schmidt played in five FIBA World Championships and as many Olympic Games. He was the best scorer in three of those 10 combined tournaments. Unfortunately, his scoring flair didn’t translate into great team success as Brazil could not get past the quarter-finals in any of those events.
Perhaps the highlight of his international career came at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, where he scored 338 points in seven games to average 42.3 points per contest.
At his last Olympics, in Atlanta in 1996 and at 38 years of age, he scored 219 in eight games for an average of 27.4. He compiled 1,093 points for an average of 28.8, a record in the Olympics.
He played professionally from 1978 until 2003 and in those 25 years amassed 49,703 points, the most by any single player in basketball history.
Schmidt retired on 26th May 2003, leaving behind his glory years with the Palmeiras, Caserta, Forum-Valladolid, Corinthians, Bandeirantes, Barueri and Flamengo.