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Penn State Hoops’ Tom Hovasse Takes Silver Coaching Japan

Penn State men’s basketball great Tom Hovasse is officially bringing home some hardware home this weekend.

Hovasse coached Japan’s women’s basketball team to its first-ever Olympic medal. The team took silver Saturday night after falling 90-75 to the U.S., which successfully defended its seventh straight gold medal.

Japan’s silver medal is its highest-ever finish in Olympic history. The team defeated France and Belgium, respectively, in the semifinals and quarterfinals. It also topped France and Nigeria in group play.

Hovasse is the latest Nittany Lion to earn a medal during this summer’s Olympic games. Penn State wrestling legend David Taylor took gold in the men’s 86 kg tournament Wednesday. Shot put star Joe Kovacs notched his second career silver medal, while women’s soccer alumna Alyssa Naeher received a bronze alongside current Penn State coach Erica Dambach. Erin McLeod took gold alongside Canada’s national soccer team.

Hovasse played for the Nittany Lions from 1985 to 1989 and still ranks No. 12 on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,459 career points. He earned first-team All-Atlantic 10 honors as a senior.

He later launched a professional career and wound up playing with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks during the 1994-95 season. Hovasse became the first foreign-born head coach of Japan’s national women’s team in 2017 after serving as an assistant coach during Rio’s Olympic games in 2016.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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