Trump Awards ‘Mr. Basketball’ With the Medal of Freedom: ‘a True American Original’

Celebrating a basketball legend who made a difference on and off the court, President Donald Trump honored a “beloved basketball legend and a true American original.”

The president awarded former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Bob Cousy, also known as “Mr. Basketball,” with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, on Thursday.

Cousey — who retired from his time playing for the Boston Celtics 1963 after 1,026 games — is a six-time NBA champion and 13-time NBA All-Star, among garnering several other achievements, the president shared.

“Off the court, he fought for racial equality by standing up to racism directed at his teammates, and he helped organize the NBA Players Association,” a military aide read allowed during the ceremony in the Oval Office.

“Mr. President, I know, in your world, you’re well on your way to making America great again,” Cousy said after being decorated with the medal. “In my world, it’s been great for 91 years.”

The former FBA legend offered praise to the president, labeling Trump the “most extraordinary president of my lifetime.”

Check out Cousy receiving the award:

Taking note of his friends and family’s support, Cousy became emotional noting his late wife, who “put up with me” for 63 years. He then jokingly added that “this is why you shouldn’t invite old men to the White House,” as he was on the brink of tears.

Cousy continued:

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom allows me to reach a level of acceptance in our society I never once ever dreamed of. And it’s very special for two other reasons: It allows me to join one of the most exclusive clubs on our planet. […] Secondly, Mr. President, it’s special because it is being presented by the most extraordinary President in my lifetime. And I’m a ‘B.R.’ — a ‘before Roosevelt.'”

See Cousy’s comments below:

Watch the full ceremony below:

Cousy is the latest person to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as Trump as honored nine others with the award. Among those include former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), professional golfer Tiger Woods, and, posthumously, singer Elvis Presley and former professional baseball player George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr.