The Cousy Award Presented by College of the Holy Cross
With exceptional peripheral vision, large hands, sloping shoulders and extremely sturdy legs, Bob Cousy was an outstanding all-around player. In basketball circles, however, Cousy was best known for his razzle-dazzle ball handling abilities. Nicknamed the "Houdini of the Hardwood" by sports writers, Cousy is considered by many as the best playmaker ever. Cousy had an All-America career at The College of the Holy Cross, leading the Crusaders to three NCAA tournaments and the 1947 title.
After being drafted in 1950 by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks and immediately traded to the Chicago Stags, the unwanted and untested Cousy's rights were drawn out of a hat by the Boston Celtics in a dispersal draft of the Chicago Stags franchise. Cousy's arrival coincided with that of head coach Arnold "Red" Auerbach, whose up-tempo style of coaching suited Cousy's remarkable playmaking talents perfectly. Cousy finished ninth in the league in scoring (15.6 ppg) his first season. It wasn't until midway through his second season that Cousy began to show the type of courtmanship that would make him a featured attraction in NBA arenas across the country. As a "sophomore," Cousy averaged 21.7 ppg, his highest single-season mark. With the addition of fellow Hall of Famer Bill Russell in 1956, the Celtics became a dynasty, winning six championships with the combination of Cousy and Russell. Cousy led the NBA in assists eight consecutive years (1953-60), played in thirteen straight NBA All-Star Games, earned MVP honors in the 1954 and 1957 Games, and racked up career total 16,960 points.
A fierce competitor, Cousy was named to the NBA's 25th and 35th and 50th Anniversary All-Time teams in 1970, 1980 and 1996. After retiring in 1963, Cousy coached Boston College from 1963 to 1969, taking the Eagles to two NCAA tournaments. He also coached the NBA's Cincinnati/Kansas City Royals from 1969 to 1974 and, at age 41, reactivated himself onto the 1969-70 Royals roster, making him the oldest performer in NBA history.
A Basketball Hall of Famer since 1971, Mr. Cousy wanted to continue both his legacy and ensure that the best point guards in the collegiate game are appropriately recognized. Since 2004, the Cousy Award has both recognized some of the games' best players and students.