Around the World with Team USA

“It was a privilege to wear the USA colors” states William J. Kuprevich, Jr., DO, who served as the team physician for USA Women’s Basketball National team at the AmeriCup competition in Puerto Rico in September 2019. Team USA went 6-0, capturing the gold medal and advancing to the November 10th-19th, 2019 FIBA America tournament in Argentina.

While serving Team USA as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the Pacific Rim Games in San Diego in 2005, he worked with the USA Women’s and USA Men’s basketball teams. He also served as the Team USA CMO at the Paralympics in Torino, Italy in 2006, and the Pan American Games in Rio in 2007.  Dr. Kuprevich was asked to cover USA Women’s National basketball team at the World Championship event in Russia in 2007. After Russia, he covered more international events for the team, including competitions in Amsterdam, Cancun, Buenos Aires, Prague and Paris.

Dr. Kurprevich USA Basketball Team
*Photo credit to USA Basketball.

Dr. Kuprevich was then named Team USA CMO at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, heading a staff of 60 medical professionals.  The medical staff was responsible for the care of over 600 US Olympic athletes.  Dr. Kuprevich was the first DO to ever serve as a CMO at an Olympic event.

Through all his work with Team USA, he has two moments that really stand out.  In Ekaterinburg, Russia, the 2017 USA Women’s basketball team won the silver medal and the players asked him to stand on the podium with them as they received the medals. It was a special moment.  His overall favorite memory was walking through the tunnel into the Bird’s Nest (Beijing National Stadium)  with Team USA at the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics as they marched out when the countries were introduced.

Dr. Kurprevich USA BAsketball Team
*Photo credit to USA Basketball.

Dr. Kuprevich feels it is a great honor and privilege to serve Team USA. He has suggestions for others looking to do the same. First, start local.  Gain experience with multi-sport events, such as the Keystone Games. Volunteer for a week rotation at an Olympic training center (information available on the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) website).

Remember that if you want to work with world-class athletes it won’t happen overnight. An evaluation process takes place after every USOPC experience, beginning with the first one at the Olympic training center and at every event following. Everyone you come in contact with will be asked to evaluate your performance - athletes, coaches, other staff. If results are positive, you may be asked to take part in another event - with an increase in size of the event and responsibilities within the event, and with a progression from national events to international events as your experience grows. If the USOPC would like you to participate, they will contact you. No matter the size of the event - local, national, or international - consistently establish what is best for the athlete, short- and long-term, to provide optimal care.

Dr. Kuprevich is serving USA basketball, his country and the osteopathic community in a very special way. Thank you, Dr. Kuprevich for being part of DOs DOing More. The osteopathic community supports Team USA as they strive for gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

USA Basketball
*Photo credit to USA Basketball.