Today, President Donald J. Trump will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Robert Joseph “Bob” Cousy. This prestigious award is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, which may be awarded by the President to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Bob Cousy is one of basketball’s all-time greatest players and an exemplary American on and off the court. During his 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, the “Houdini of the Hardwood” led his team into legendary success including six NBA National Championships. He led the league in assists for 8 straight years, was a 13-time All-Star, and won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award in 1957. Off the court, Mr. Cousy fought racism and became a leader for racial equality in and beyond the league. He was also instrumental in the creation of the NBA Players Association. In 1971, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.