Oscar Robertson, nicknamed “The Big O,” was born November 24, 1938 on a farm in Charlotte, Tennessee. When he was four years old, his family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. Robertson began playing basketball as a child, using a tin can in place of a ball. Later, when he had an actual basketball, he would dribble it constantly. He later led his high school basketball team to two Indiana state titles.
Following high school, Robertson decided to attend the University of Cincinnati. While on the UC basketball team from 1957 to 1960, he led the nation in scoring. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic Basketball Team in 1960, which won a gold medal in Rome.
After leaving UC in 1960, he played in the NBA with the Cincinnati Royals. For the 1961-1962 season, Robertson achieved a “triple-double” average, which means his averages for points, assists and rebounds were in double figures. This accomplishment has yet to be matched by another. Robertson continued to play with the Royals for ten years before he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. By the late 1960s, he served as president of the NBA Players Association and helped lead the Bucks to an NBA championship in 1971. Robertson retired from the Bucks in 1974.
Oscar Robertson remains one of the most important names in basketball history and has received many honors. He is a member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame and has been named one of ESPN’s 50 Greatest Athletes of the Century. Robertson currently resides in Cincinnati with his family.