President Donald Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Boston Celtics point guard and basketball coach Bob Cousy Thursday afternoon at the White House.
Donald Trump said in his speech during the award ceremony at the Oval Office, “You are one the all-time greats in the history of sports, not just basketball, and an inspiration to us all and today America honors and celebrates everything that you have achieved. You have achieved so much and even beyond basketball.”
Cousy played for Boston Celtics from 1950s to 1960s. It was during that time he earned his nickname, ‘Mr. Basketball’. He also helped from the NBA Players Association Union and was inducted into the Nasimith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1971.
Donald Trump added more, “Bob was right at the forefront of combating racism within the league. Throughout his long career, Bob was a voice against prejudice, racism and bigotry.”
Cousy told the president, “I know in your world you are well on your way to making America great again. In my world, it has been great from 91 years. Only in America could my story’ve been told.”
“This acknowledgement allows me to complete my life circle. I can stop chasing the bouncing ball. The presidential Medal of Freedom allows me to reach a level of acceptance in our society I’ve never once dreamed of.”
Cousy is the fifth professional athlete Donald Trump has presented the medal to, the highest civilian honor in the US. The medal is bestowed to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United states, to world peace, to world or to cultural and other significant public and private endeavors.