Men's Basketball |
May 15, 2008
CINCINNATI -- Oscar Robertson, more commonly known for his unparalleled achievements on the basketball court, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Cincinnati College of Business on May 15. The Big O will be recognized for his achievements as a business owner and CEO over the past three decades.
Dr. Charles E. Matthews, director of the Entrepreneurship Center, noted that The Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship is "given in recognition of the drive to high standards, dedication to a vision, determination to succeed, leadership in the community, and generosity to others which has been consistently demonstrated throughout a lifetime of successful entrepreneurial pursuits. Oscar Robertson is among the very few who fit this description to the letter."
One of the nation's leading small business owners, Robertson presently heads companies active in the fields of document and facilities management (OR Solutions), processed foods (OR Foods), publishing (Oscar Robertson Media Ventures), and specialty chemicals (Orchem). The latter company recently expanded into the consumer product arena with an enzyme-based, environmentally-friendly line of stain remover wipes under the product name "FadeAway." The Big O is also a board member of Countrywide Financial Corporation, the nation's leading mortgage lender.
Robertson graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1960 with a degree in business. He was recently awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters by his alma mater. Robertson and his wife Yvonne are co-chairs of the University's current $800 million capital campaign.
During his basketball career at UC, Robertson was a three-time first team All-American, the first player to lead the NCAA in scoring three times and the first to win national Player of the Year honors three times. He led the Bearcats to two Final Fours and then co-captained the undefeated 1960 U.S. Olympic Gold Medal team, often considered the greatest basketball team ever assembled. In 1998 the U.S. Basketball Writers Association renamed its Player of the Year award the Oscar Robertson Trophy. In 2000 the National Association of Basketball Coaches named him "Player of the Century."
Robertson's business acumen was evident from the beginning of his professional basketball career. He was one of the first players, if not the first, to employ an attorney to negotiate his contracts, gaining a no-trade clause and a percentage of gate receipts during his tenure with the Cincinnati Royals. As President of the NBA Players Association from 1965-1974, he filed a class action anti-trust lawsuit to prevent a merger between the NBA and the American Basketball Association until issues regarding the reserve clause, the draft, and player movement between teams could be resolved. As a result of a settlement known as the Oscar Robertson Rule, NBA Players became the first professional athletes to achieve free agency, forever changing the balance of power in professional sports and leading to a new era of growth and prosperity for the NBA.
During his 14-year NBA career -- ten in Cincinnati and four in Milwaukee -- Robertson led his teams to 10 playoff appearances and the Bucks to their only NBA title in 1971. He is the NBA's all-time leader in triple-double games (points, rebounds, assists) for a season and a career and the all-time leader in rebounding for guards. He is the only player ever to average a triple-double for an entire season. He finished his career with 26,710 points and a 25.7 scoring average.
A member of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame since 1979, Robertson is the author and publisher of "The Art of Basketball," the definitive book on fundamentals, and an autobiography. "The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game." For complete information on Oscar Robertson, visit www.thebigo.com.