The United States of America continued to show its dominance on the world's sports stage by taking home more medals than any other nation in the 2012 London Olympics.
The final medal count for the red, white and blue is 104, including 46 golds -- the highest for any nation in this year's Olympic Games.
Local Grown Athlete-Artesia High Grad Gets Gold
Part of the country's winning effort came from Artesia High School alum James Harden, a member of Team USA's basketball squad, which defended its title by beating Spain in 107-100 in the gold medal matchup Sunday.
Harden's NBA Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant led the way with 30 points and nine rebounds while Lebron James added 19 points and Kobe Bryant chipped in with 17. Harden, a reserve shootin guard who was often brought into the Olympic matchups during blowouts, had two points in one minute of play in Team USA's final game.
When asked about his first Olympic experience and winning the gold alongside some of the NBA's most talented players, the former Lakewood resident said the feeling was overwhelming.
"It's hard to explain," Harden told Kansas City's SB Nation. "Just being on this team with this great group of guys, competing for a gold medal and reaching our goal is overwhelming ... Every single day it was something different. Especially, like I said, being with these guys. You get to watch them play basketball, you play basketball against them, but once you are the same team you get a feeling for who they are as a person. Every single day was something different and I am just happy to be a part of this team."
China took second place for total medals won with 87 and also nabbed the second-most golds with 38. (Just for a little perspective, America has a population of about 311.6 million, compared to a Chinese population of 1.3 billion).
Host Great Britain also had a great showing, taking fourth in total medals won and ranking third in the number of golds received.
Some Background on Harden's Basketball Career
As a member of the Thunder, Harden averaged 16.8 points in 31.4 minutes per game in the 2011-12 NBA season, earning him the league's Sixth Man of the Year award. During his time at Artesia High School, Harden helped the Pioneers win a CIF state title during his senior year. (Artesia High, which is known as a Southern California basketball powerhouse, is located in the city of Lakewood along the city of Cerritos border.)