Former Celtics Star Bob Cousy Receives the Medal of Freedom CSPAN August 23, 2019 1:11am-1:33am EDT
buttigieg at a town hall meeting in nashua, new hampshire. on c-span2, the commander of air combat command will talk about readiness, cyber intelligence, and rapid deployment. on then a meeting investigation and prosecution of sexual assault in the armed forces. president trump awarded the medal of freedom to former boston celtics star bob cousy. he is a member of the nba hall of fame. he played for the celtics in the 1950's and 1960's and went on to coast at boston college. he is credited with organizing the national basketball players association, the first union of the four major professional sports leagues in north america.
>> this is a very exciting day. a great champion, a world champion. it is wonderful to have you in the oval office with your family and your friends. the oval office with your family and friends. thank you very much and thank you all for being here in the oval office on this joyous occasion. toay, it is my privilege present our nation's highest civilian honor to a beloved basketball champion and a true american original, robert cousy commonly known as abu z. bob, congratulations on receiving the presidential medal of freedom, the highest award you can receive. we have the presidential medal of freedom and we have the congressional medal of honor. for military and it is great to be with you. we are grateful to be joined by senator joe manchin and his wife gail. up a while ago suggesting this idea. joe, i wonder if you could go to the microphone and say a few
words about your relationship with bob. mr. president, i had the great privilege of meeting the legend a few years ago through my dear friend andy angeli padilla and the family. for a longn friends time. he started talking about this bob cousy. " andpt talking about "cous i wondered if he was talking about the bob cousy. he introduced me to him. we started talking. bob did not say much but his this iswere saying that something he had aspired to. we were having a meeting about something else. in yourtalking and you personal fashion, i said there is a gentleman i think you ought to consider for this high award. and you asked who it might be and you said bob cousy and you said you remembered him very well.
you said give me the number and we will call. theas not going to take call because someone said it is the white house calling and the president wants to speak to you. they took the call and he said it was unbelievable. to all of the friends -- this is a team effort. it was the family and all of these people that grew up with him to make this happen. i was just happy i could be a part of this so, thank you, mr. president. you very muchhank for being here. also with us are many men bears familyers of the cousy including his daughters. where are you? congratulations. it is a big deal. and his grandchildren, zachary and nicole. and his sons in law. they are good sons and law, bob, right?
no complaints? i bet that is right. bob grew up in the great depression in an apartment without running water. in 1941 at 13, he picked up a basketball for the first time. he devoted himself to this poor -- aoon honed a union unique ability to play equally well with both hands. a unique talent. equal ability with both hands. is it true? >> so so. forgotrump: bob never the lesson his first mentor taught him, don't ever be predictable. hey, i have heard that lesson too. not for basketball but for other things. by this senior year of his high school come he was named captain of the all-american team and he was called the houdini of the hardwood.
in 1946, bob enrolled in college of the holy cross enjoyed as a crusader's where he quickly built a large following of fans. in one of the biggest games of his sophomore year, his coach, for whatever reason, then she him. him.nched the team was behind seven points . the fans started going crazy. "we want cousy." the coach had no choice but to and bobinto the game immediately went on to score 12 quick points leading his team to an epic come from behind victory. i don't know if the coach kept his job or not but -- what do you think, joe? i think i would've gotten rid of the coach. by the end of his collegiate career, the wizard of worster
was a three-time all-american and was on his way to being drafted into the nba. everyone was talking about him. talking about him all over the country. boston the bolton -- the celtics, he quickly established himself as the preeminent point guard of the day. he was ranked number one in eight of his 13 nba seasons. number one and assists. come he wasd season the third highest scorer in the league. in a legendary 1953 playoff game to train the celtics and the syracuse nationals, bob demonstrated exceptional grit in one of the roughest games in the history of basketball including 107 fouls. that is a lot of thousand. bob forced the game into it. into the first of its four overtimes compelling the team to by quitend boston won
a bit because he went wild and that last overtime. bob organized the nba players association. a first of its kind union for major american sports. he was elected did the association's first president and fought for better working conditions and a more reasonable schedule for players. as a helped him produce many notable reforms including a pension plan for nba players. bob was also a passionate advocate for equality and justice. at holy cross, he wrote his senior thesis on the persecution faced to by minorities. celtics,ying for the bob heard that his friend, chuck cooper, the first intoan-american drafted the nba could not stay at the same hotel as the rest of the team in the segregated south. bob responded by leaving the state with his teammate and he
was not a happy person and he became very happy because of what happened after that -- it is legendary. forefront.the throughout his long career, bob was a voice against prejudice, racism, and bigotry. games with the celtics, he retired from the team in 1963. madeored 18,973 points and 7800 82 assists. they were records at the time. he was a six-time nba champion, a 13 time nba all-star. wow. and he was also league mvp. he was a first nba player to be on the cover of "sports illustrated." bob went on to coach the boston celtics -- boston college team.
in 1973 come he coached the u.s. national team to a victory against of the soviet union. he was inducted into the basketball hall of fame in 1971 and became the for -- and later became the first inductee to serve as its president. he coached the cincinnati royals and briefly reactivated in 1969 setting the record for the oldest person to play in the nba. am i allowed to ask how old that was? [laughter] i think it was 41. has alsomp: he supported many causes. he taught youth basketball and created a scholarship for underprivileged children. an incredible life. an incredible life -- you have done a great job. you are one of the all-time
greats in the history of sports, not just basketball. and an inspiration to us all and today, america honors in celebrates everything you have achieved. you have achieved so much even beyond basketball. it is my privilege to ask of the military aid to read the citation as we present robert bob cousy with the presidential medal of freedom. please. [applause] thank you, bob. >> robert joseph, bob cousy, is one of basketball's all-time greatest players. during his 13 seasons with the boston celtics, the houdini of the hardwood confounded opponents and was instrumental in tilting the teams legendary
success. he led the league in assists for eight straight years, was a 13 time all-star, and won nba's in 1957.able player off the court, he fought for racially quality by standing up against racism directed at his teammates. in 1971 come he was inducted into the naismith memorial basketball hall of fame. united states proudly honors mr. susie close competitiveness and character -- [applause]
pres. trump: take your time. thank you, mr. president. for those kind words. however, if i had known i was , i wouldbe eulogized have probably done the only decent thing and died for you. [laughter] using i have got to stop that line. i think the good lord has heard is readyoo often and to tell one of his aides that that sucker is ready to,. anyway, mr. president, i know in your world, you are well on your
way to making america great again. and my world, it has been great for 91 years. only in america could my story have been told. i am here to say that i am easily the most fortunate, lucky sob on the planet. and followederseas by 17 year life experience in the ghetto, i discovered some god-given skills to play a child's game and landed with not much of a moral code other than the law of the streets, survival and self-interest at the college of the holy cross. then and now, one of the finest liberal arts schools in the country. , in my jesuit mentors answer to the eternal questions, what is it all about?
-- maximize your god-given skills in the areas of your choice and then reach out in your community and help in who areyou can those less fortunate, those who need a boost. and to the best of my ability, i have tried to do that. and i would like to think that the good lord has rewarded my feeble attempts by surrounding me at this point in my life, at this wonderful event -- oh boy, i screwed it up. no. twonds who have my back, my wonderful grandchildren -- let us introduce you both one more time, nicole and zachary. loving daughters both with
devoted partners and both who hover over me and make sure i take my pills on time. i cannot ask all of those friends to be identified but i would like to pay special senator joey friend manchin from west virginia who was directly responsible for my presence here today to receive this award. daughters, like my i know you took one bow, just a quick wave. they are both retired school teachers, both with distinguished careers in education and both wonderful replicas of their mother. sorry about that. , who put up with me for 63
-- that is why you should not invite old men to the white house. [laughter] we get emotional. -- 63 wonderful years while trying in her way to make the world a better place. earlierxhibit a to that reference to my good fortune, i refer to why we are here this afternoon. me tocknowledgment allows complete my life circle. i can stop chasing a bouncing ball. presidential medal of freedom allows me to reach a level of acceptance in our society i never once dreamed of. and it is very special for two other reasons, it allows me to join one of the most exclusive clubs on our planet and
secondly, mr. president, and i have lost the last sheet -- no, i am sorry, secondly mr. president, it is special because it is being presented by the most extraordinary president in my lifetime. -er" -- before roosevelt. thank you, sir. thank you to all of my friends and family for your attendance and your attention. peace. [applause] pres. trump: i would just like all, that wasof beautiful and congratulations to the family and all your friends. the last great athlete to get it was tiger woods three months ago. tiger got it.
bob cousy: i am a tiger fan. pres. trump: and i am a tiger fan too. he did something people thought was impossible. he won the masters. company.n very good some incredible people from the past. bob cousy: i think i mentioned get backat if i ever to golf, i'm going to give you [indiscernible] sounds good.that that sounds fantastic. again, i would like to congratulate bob and his family. ,nd when senator manchin called he said he had an idea, bob cousy. and i said -- done. senator manchin said, don't you want to think about it? and i said i did not need to think about it. i did not have to call you back, joe.
thank you for that reference. we are very proud of bob cousy. thank you, bob and congratulations. [applause] reporter: [indiscernible] pres. trump: the job numbers have been really good. we have an unemployment number that we have not been at for many years. if you look at the world economy, not so good but our economy is really fantastic. thank you so much, everyone. >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, foundations for the defense of democracy discusses the state of iran's nuclear program and
recent provocation as g-7 leaders gather this weekend. america talkslth about mental health care in the u.s. and suggestions that battle or -- better mental health screenings would prevent gun violence. then alex flint will talk about support among some conservatives for a revenue neutral carbon tax. be sure to watch "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern friday morning. join the discussion. friday, or allve argument in the case regarding the release of president trump's financial records from deutsche bank in the second circuit court of appeals from new york city. live starting around 11:30 a.m. eastern on c-span. buttigieg at pete a town hall meeting in nashua, new hampshire. on c-span2, the commander of air combat command will talk about readiness, cyber intelligence,
and rapid deployment. and at 9:00 eastern, the defense advisory committee on the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault in the armed forces. >> next, state debate commission officials and political scientists discuss the future of political debates. this event was hosted by the city club of cleveland. it is about one hour. -- bell rings] >> good afternoon and welcome to the city club of cleveland. i'm the president of the ohio society of broadcasters. i'm pleased to introduce this forum. the ohio association of broadcasters is the association of local radio and television stations here in ohio and we have been involved with the ohio debate commission since its inception last