LAS VEGAS – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Rod Thorn, chair of the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team Selection Committee from 1992-2000 and a respected executive of the NBA league office but known to most as the man who drafted Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls with the third overall pick of the 1984 NBA Draft, was named the recipient of the 2018 USA Basketball Edward S. Steitz Award.
Rod Thorn (l) with successor Kiki VanDeWeghe
The Edward S. Steitz Award recognizes an individual for her or his valuable contributions to international basketball. Thorn will receive his trophy at a USA Basketball assembly on July 26 in Las Vegas.
The USA Basketball award is named in memory of Edward S. Steitz, a longtime director of athletics at Springfield College who was recognized worldwide as an authority on the rules of basketball. Steitz was an original architect and a past president (1969-74 and 1980-84) of USA Basketball’s predecessors, the Basketball Federation of the USA (BFUSA) and the Amateur Basketball Association of the United States of America (ABAUSA).
“It means a lot,” said Thorn who currently serves as a consultant with the Milwaukee Bucks. “(This is) a very prestigious award from USA Basketball. Ed (Steitz) was probably the biggest rules maker in international history. I knew Ed. I had a lot of respect for him, and I feel very honored to receive this award.”
As chair of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team Selection Committee, Thorn helped to put together the historic Dream Team for the 1992 Olympics, as well as the gold medal winning 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Teams and the 1994 FIBA World Cup Team.
He also served as the USA Basketball representative on the FIBA Technical Commission from 1993-2000.
A Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2018 inductee, Thorn contributed to basketball both in the United States and internationally, and he owns experience as an athlete, coach and league and team executive.
“USA Basketball is extremely proud to honor Rod with our highest award,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball Chief Executive Officer. “His contributions to the sport, especially to USA Basketball and the international game, have been significant and lasting, and we are grateful for his dedication and hard work.”