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NBA, Pacers commission Oscar Robertson statue during All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis

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Basketball legend Oscar “The Big O” Robertson will be honored with a statue placed in front of Crispus Attucks High School in 2025. The statue was commissioned by the NBA and Pacers Sports & Entertainment during the 2024 NBA All-Star tip-off in Indianapolis – where Robertson is from – on Feb. 17.

Robertson, who is widely considered one of the basketball greats, was a star player at Crispus Attucks High School in the 1950s. Robertson was also a part of the 1955 Crispus Attucks team that secured a state title, becoming the first all-Black high school in the nation to accomplish this feat.

He went on to have a legendary career at the University of Cincinnati before being drafted by the Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) in 1960, putting up a triple-double of 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against the Lakers.

The triple-double would eventually become Robertson’s signature; he became the first player to average a triple-double for an entire season in the league’s history only two years later.

More Oscar Robertson news: Lockefield Garden Dust Bowl screening and exhibit ahead of NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis

Oscar Robertson, who will receive a statue at Crispus Attucks High School, alongside Reggie Miller and Larry Bird during NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis Feb 18 2024.
Former Indiana Pacers player Reggie Miller, center, 12-time NBA All-Star Oscar Robertson, left, and NBA legend Larry Bird speak to the fans before the start of the NBA All-Star basketball game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

More than 5,000 people were present at Bicentennial Unity Plaza adjacent to Gainbridge Fieldhouse as NBA commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement.

“Oscar has led the way in breaking down barriers, and it is my honor to announce that the NBA and the Pacers have commissioned a statute in recognition of his extraordinary impact on the game and this city,” Silver said to the All-Star Weekend crowd on Feb. 17.

During his 14-year NBA career, Robertson was a 12-time All-Star, nine-time member of the All-NBA First Team and the league MVP in 1964. He also won an Olympic gold medal with the U.S. men’s basketball team in 1960 and won an NBA championship in 1971.

Off the court, Robertson is an outspoken advocate for social justice and was a key figure in the fight for better working conditions and salaries for NBA players. He also played a pivotal role in the lawsuit that led to the NBA’s adoption of free agency in 1976, more commonly known as “The Robertson Rule.”

The decision to honor Robertson with a statue is a fitting, yet long-overdue tribute to his remarkable career and contributions to basketball in Indy as well as on the world’s stage.

The Oscar Robertson statue will be placed where the legend of the “The Big O” started: the historic Crispus Attucks High School.

Contact Senior Sports Writer Noral Parham III at 317-762-7846. Follow him on Twitter @3Noral. For more news courtesy of the Indianapolis Recorder, click here. You can also check out the Indiana Minority Business Magazine by clicking here.

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