Beloit’s own Bill Hanzlik was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic basketball team which missed the opportunity to compete in Moscow due to the United States boycotting the Summer Games.
The Olympic squad, coached by Dave Gavitt, did play five contests against teams composed of NBA stars. The Olympians went 4-1, the lone loss a two-point decision (78-76) in Seattle.
The 6-foot-7 Hanzlik, a 1976 Beloit Memorial graduate, played in all five games of the Gold Medal series and contributed 11 points, seven assists and five steals. His Olympic teammates included Michael Brooks of LaSalle, Sam Bowie of Kentucky, Mark Aguirre of DePaul, Al Wood of North Carolina and Isiah Thomas of Indiana.
A two-year starter for Digger Phelps at Notre Dame, Hanzlik was a No. 1 draft choice of the Seattle SuperSonics and played 11 years in the NBA. He played with the Sonics from 1980-82 and Denver Nuggets from 1982-90.
After retiring, he became an assistant coach in the NBA for six seasons. He was head coach of the Nuggets in 1997-98.
Hanzlik and Ray Baker founded the Gold Crown Foundation in 1986 in Denver. The nonprofit organization has blossomed from a weeklong basketball camp for girls into a Colorado-wide extravaganza dedicated to improving the lives of children through athletics and education. Hanzlik is CEO of the Foundation.