Bob Cousy – Basketball Player

Robert Joseph Cousy was on August 9th, 1928 in New York city. His father, Joseph, was a taxi driver and his mother, Julie Corlet was a secretary and a french teacher. Cousy grew up in Manhattan’s East Side in the Yorkville section. Growing up in a multinational neighborhood he played with Jewish, Afro American, Italian, and other ethic children. This experience at a young age instilled a strong dislike for racism that stayed with him throughout his career on the court and his life.

Bob first played basketball in elementary school. In high school he tried out for the basketball team but was cut from the team both in his freshman and sophomore years. Since he was unable to play for his high school he signed up to play for the St Albans Lindens of the Press League where he developed his skills playing basketball. In his sophomore year he broke his right hand forcing him to play basketball with his left hand. Once his right hand healed Cousy was able to play left and right handed giving him the advantage on the court.

In 1947 Bob Cousy went to Holy Cross and began playing basketball for the Crusaders his freshman year. It wasn’t until his sophomore year that he had a chance to show his abilities on the court. The Holy Cross Crusaders were playing Loyola of Chicago at the Boston Garden. The Crusaders were trailing and with five minutes to go in the game the fans started to chant repeatedly “We want Cousy”. Bob Cousy was let in the game and in a few short minutes he scored 11 points and dazzled the crowd with his behind the back drizzling and ball handling. His performance on the court won the game for his team. From that day on Bob Cousy played every game and became a three time All-American.

In the 1950 NBA Draft Bob had hoped to be drafted by the Boston Celtics but was basically snubbed by the top teams. They felt that his style of playing would not do well on a major league basketball court and he would be ineffective on the court. He was eventually picked up by the the Chicago Stags but the organization folded before the season started. As fate would have it Bob Cousy was drafted by the Boston Celtics.

Cousy’s career with the Celtics began in 1950 and lasted till 1963. After leaving the Celtics and his basketball career as a professional player he became head coach for Boston. For six years Bob lead the college team to numerous victories including three appearances at the NIT championship and two at the National Collegiate Athletic Assoc. During his time as a college basketball coach Cousy was twice named New England Coach of the Year in 1968 and 1969. In 1969 he returned to professional basketball as coach of the Cincinnati Royals. He remained their coach and part time player until 1973. Today Bob Cousy still works for the Celtics organization as a marketing consultant and from time to time as an announcer for the Celtics.

His career stats as a professional player are impressive with 16,960points scored and 6,955 assists in 942 games played. He was a 6 time NBA champion, 13 time All-Star, 1 time Most Valuable Player, 10 time All-NBA First Team, two time All NBA Second Team and a two time NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player.

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