Another Boston Celtics icon will earn recognition at the United States' highest level.
Former Celtics guard and Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy is set to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy revealed Monday.
Along with the Congressional Gold Medal, the Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the U.S. and bestowed to people who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
“I don’t deserve the damn thing,” said Cousy, according to the Worcester Telegram's Bill Doyle, “but I’ll let someone else decide that. I’m not going to give it back.”
Cousy will join Celtics legend Bill Russell, who was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 2011, which will make the C's the only professional sports team outside the New York Yankees to have two award winners in their franchise history.
Celtics become second sports franchise with two Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients: Bob Cousy & Bill Russell. Yankees have Babe Ruth & Yogi Berra.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) July 1, 2019
Cousy's on-court pedigree is impeccable: The Holy Cross alum was a 13-time NBA All-Star and led the Celtics to six NBA titles as the league's first great point guard.
But "the Cooz" contributed just as much off the court, helping found the NBA Players Association in 1954 -- the first union in any of the four major North American sports -- and serving as its first president in 1958.
It's unclear when the 90-year-old Cousy will receive the award -- Tiger Woods, Jerry West and Roger Penske are among this year's recipients to date -- but he's more than deserving.
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