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Oscar Robertson

Oscar Palmer Robertson is a retired professional basketball player. He was born on November 24, 1938 in Charlotte, Tennessee. He lived in a segregated housing project and attended a segregated high school called Crispus Attucks High School. He learned to play basketball at a very young age. His family was so poor that he could not even afford to buy a proper basketball, so he used make a makeshift ball by wrapping up a tennis ball in rags and practicing to shoot. He played basketball on the school team and won two back to back state titles with them. His school was the first all black school to win a state championship. In his junior year, his team had a perfect win loss record of 31-0. His senior year average was 24.0 points per game and he was named Indiana “Mr. Basketball” in 1956.

After graduating from high school, Oscar Robertson enrolled at the University of Cincinnati, where he continued to play basketball. He maintained a stellar record at college, and his scoring average of 33.8 points per game was the third highest in college history. In his three year tenure at university, he won the national scoring title, scored 10 triple-doubles, was chosen as the College Player of the Year, and set more than a dozen National Collegiate Athletic Association as well as other school records. After graduating from college, he was named the captain of the 1960 Summer Olympics U.S. men’s basketball team, which went undefeated and won the Gold medal. He was the leading scorer of the tournament, along with future NBA star Jerry Lucas.

In the 1960 NBA draft, Robertson was chosen by the Cincinnati Royals. He was given a signing bonus of $33,000 which helped him to improve his financial position considerably. He continued to play impressively, and was named NBA Rookie of the Year, and elected into the All-NBA First Team, something he continued to do for nine consecutive seasons. He was also named the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 1961. He helped his team reach the Eastern Division finals, which they lost to the

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