Hovasse Guides Japan To First-Ever Gold Medal Game With 87-71 Semifinal Win Over France
Hovasse and Japan dominate France in semifinals, advance to play USA for gold medal
TOKYO – A storybook Olympic Games continued Friday morning for Penn State men’s basketball alumnus and Japan Olympic women’s basketball head coach Tom Hovasse ’89, who coached his team to a dominant 87-71 win over France in the semifinals to secure Japan’s first-ever spot in the gold medal game.
Japan and eight-time Olympic gold medalist Team USA will square off for the 2020 Tokyo title on Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised in the NBC primetime coverage.
Hovasse has led Japan to new heights while serving as the head coach for the 2020 Tokyo games after serving as an assistant coach during the 2016 Rio games. Hovasse was named the first foreign-born head coach of the Japanese National Team in 2017. Japan has never before medaled in the sport of women’s basketball.
Hovasse was a first team all-conference performer at Penn State who ranks No. 12 on Penn State’s all-time scoring leaders list with 1,459 career points. He played for the Nittany Lions from 1985-1989, earning first team All-Atlantic 10 honors as a senior in 1989.
Hovasse went on to play professionally for a number of years, making several stops overseas and seeing time with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks during the 1994-95 season. He has spent the last 10-plus years coaching, with a majority of his coaching career coming in Japan and a brief stint as an assistant coach with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.