Olympics

Nikola Mirotic scores 17 points in Spain's rout of Lithuania

Nikola Mirotic scores 17 points in Spain's rout of Lithuania

After an 0-2 start, Nikola Mirotic and Spain have rallied to remain in position to advance to the quarterfinals at the Olympics.

The Bulls forward scored 17 points in a resounding 109-59 win against Lithuania in Group B action on Saturday. Lithuania (3-1) was the last undefeated team in the group.

Mirotic had an efficient shooting night, going 8-11 from the field. He went 1-4 from 3-point land and made all seven 2-pointers. He also had four rebounds in 25 minutes of action. Mirotic is averaging 12.25 points per game in the four games so far.

[SHOP: Buy a Nikola Mirotic jersey]

Former Bull Pau Gasol had another big game with 23 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

Spain, which improved to 2-2 in the Olympics, raced out to a 26-11 lead after a quarter and built on the lead in every quarter.

The Spanish will finish against Argentina, which boasts a 3-1 record after beating host Brazil in double overtime thanks to a 37-point night from former Bull Andres Nocioni. If Spain, which lost its first two games by a combined three points, loses they will need some help in the form of a Brazil loss to winless Nigeria to advance to the quarterfinals.

Everything you need to know about Paralympian wheelchair racer Daniel Romanchuk

Everything you need to know about Paralympian wheelchair racer Daniel Romanchuk

Daniel Romanchuk was born with spina bifida but he hasn’t let it stop him from chasing his dreams.

From a young age, Romanchuk wanted to compete at a high level in sports. That’s why he turned himself into a world-class wheelchair racer.

“At some point, I realized everyone else is walking and I use a chair but I was like, okay. I didn’t really care,” Romanchuk said.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Olympic swimmer Ryan Murphy

His whole family played sports and Daniel wasn’t going to be the exception. He joined the Bennett Blazers physically challenged sports program in Baltimore when he was two years old.

By the time he was 16, he focused on racing and began training at the University of Illinois, which is the national training center for wheelchair track. He now calls Champaign home.

Romanchuk’s list of accomplishments include winning both the Chicago and New York City marathons. He was the first American to win the men’s wheelchair race in the New York City Marathon.

He also competed in the 2016 Paralympic Games at 18 years old. Now 21, Romanchuk has already qualified for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

“It’s every athlete’s dream to go to a Games and represent their country,” Romanchuk said.

He credits his mother, Kim, with providing the essential support for him to compete at a high level. The hope is to not only win races, but to inspire others.

“It really isn’t the medals, although that’s a wonderful thing,” Kim Romanchuk said. “You want that for all the people who supported you. For us, it’s can somebody else see this and see a way out of what they see is a hopeless situation.”

Everything you need to know about Olympic gold-medal swimmer Ryan Murphy

Everything you need to know about Olympic gold-medal swimmer Ryan Murphy

As a kid, Ryan Murphy’s dream was to be the best swimmer in the world. That dream came true when he won the gold medal in three events at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Murphy was born in Palos Heights and one of his early school assignments was to make a “dream book” about his goals for the future. In it, he wrote “I hope my swimming life continues and I become an Olympian when I grow up. I hope I will break the world records. I want to be the best swimmer in the world.”

Murphy’s path from kid with a dream to Olympic gold medalist began with a simple love of being in the water on a hot day.

“My path to swimming was just that it was really hot in the summer and so we’d go to the community pool and that’s kind of how I got my start,” Murphy said.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Paralympian wheelchair racer Daniel Romanchuk

Murphy’s family moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where he graduated from Bolles School. According to his Team USA bio, his rooting interests represent both of his hometowns. He’s a fan of the Bulls, Cubs and Jacksonville Jaguars.

He went to the other coast to swim at the University of California, Berkeley. Murphy already had international success with medals at the 2011 World Junior Swimming Championships and the 2011 Pan American Games. Once at Cal, Murphy dominated backstroke.

Murphy won both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke all four years of college. As a freshman, he helped Cal win the team title in 2014 and finished second each of the following three years.

Three months after the 2016 NCAA Championships, he took part in the U.S. Olympic Trials. There, Murphy booked his spot in the Rio Olympics. He won the 100 and 200-meter backstroke, earning a spot on the 4x100-meter medley relay.

At 21 years old, Murphy went 3-for-3 in his first Olympics. He won both backstroke events and helped the relay team win gold. Murphy’s 100-meter backstroke time of 51.97 seconds was an Olympic record and he set a world-record split (51.85 seconds) in the medley relay.

When he first stepped onto the medal podium in Rio, Murphy had a flashback of the kid who dreamed of being in the Olympics.

“I was thinking of my younger self watching the Olympics and what that looked like on TV,” Murphy said. “That was kind of my thought when I was up there. I was flashing back to watching the NBC broadcast.”

After winning three Olympic medals, Murphy returned to Cal for his senior year to complete his dominance of the NCAA Championships in backstroke. He has also racked up 17 medals at Worlds (seven of them gold), with nine in long course and eight in short course. Now, the 24-year-old is prepping for a return to the Olympics.

“I think the Olympics are a very powerful sporting event,” Murphy said. “It was an absolutely incredible experience being a part of it in ‘16 and hopefully, I’ll be there in 2020.”

See more from Murphy in the video above.