June 7, 2008
WORCESTER, Mass. - On Saturday, June 7, during reunion weekend, the College of the Holy Cross honored one of its best-known former student-athletes, Bob Cousy, with the unveiling of a life-size bronze statue in front of the Hart Recreation Center on campus.
The highly anticipated event, celebrating the former Crusader and Boston Celtics point guard, drew a crowd of more than 400 people. Among those in attendance were Cousy's family and friends, alumni and former teammates (including Tom Heinsohn and Togo Palazzi), Celtics and NBA staff, and media.
Ron Perry, former athletic director at Holy Cross, served as the emcee of the unveiling ceremony, at which Rev. John E. Brooks, S.J., president emeritus, and Cousy's daughter, Marie, spoke about the personal and professional accomplishments of "Mr. Basketball" and the importance of the statue.
Humbled by the honor, Cousy also offered remarks. Calling the experience "surreal," he reflected on the college's impressive athletic tradition and added, "I'm also very proud to be so acknowledged at a school that not only enjoys international acclaim and respect for its academic curriculum, but also for its commitment to social justice and truth."
Following the statue dedication, invited guests gathered for a reception and luncheon in the Hogan Campus Center at which former Celtic Tom Heinsohn and Basketball Hall of Fame President and CEO John Doleva shared their memories of the "Cooz" and remarked on his many contributions to the sport and the community.
Commissioned by a group of alumni and friends of the college, and created by New Jersey sculptor Brian Hanlon, the statue recognizes Cousy not only for his extraordinary basketball career at Holy Cross and with the Celtics, but also for his generous and long-term commitment to the citizenry of Worcester and for his efforts to integrate the NBA racially during its early years.