Basketball courts

Bob Cousy Crompton Park Basketball Courts Ribbon Cut Worcester Basketball Celtics Holy Cross

WORCESTER – “Houdini of the Hardwood” was just one of many nicknames given to former Boston Celtics and Holy Cross basketball icon Bob Cousy during his playing career.

The NBA Hall of Fame worked its magic again on Friday, headlining a groundbreaking ceremony for recently completed renovations to Crompton Park, including basketball court improvements and reallocation. ball of the playing field in the name of Cousy.

Great Holy Cross and Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy on Friday at the refurbished Crompton Park basketball court, now named after Cousy.  See a photo gallery on telegram.com.

The event, which brought together a large number of officials including City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr., Mayor Joseph M. Petty and City Councilor Sean M. Rose, recognized a series of renovations and additions to the Quinsigamond Avenue Park, long a hotbed of summer basketball activity in the city that has hosted professional basketball players, college stars and talented high school players from Central Mass.

The renovations were completed with a $ 400,000 grant from the state’s Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program.

Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty, Bob Cousy and City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. see new signs on Friday at the groundbreaking ceremony for the renovated basketball courts in Crompton Park.

The project included the installation of a second basketball court, which runs alongside the original, as well as accessible walkways and benches, renovation of the swimming pool, new handball courts and playing fields, and new tennis courts.

Cousy’s respect for Worcester and his passion for basketball was fully displayed at Friday’s ceremony, and came just a week after he was honored with a bronze statue of himself outside the DCU Center , and last month announced “playing ball” at Polar Parc for the first WooSox game.

Bob Cousy speaks at the dedication ceremony Friday at Crompton Park.

“I think I’m on a good roll, as has been mentioned over the past few weeks, and I’m literally becoming the luckiest man on the planet,” Cousy said. “The statue last week and now a playground – I think I’d better plan a quick trip to (Las) Vegas.

“This gesture from the city is so special and personal to me because, perhaps, my teenage years were spent in many ways almost entirely on a playground in Long Island, New York.”

Signs show Bob Cousy's life and career on the refurbished basketball courts in Crompton Park.

Playing basketball in a medley of venues helped fuel Cousy’s quest for excellence in hardwood. And as his fame grew, Cousy never forgot his connection to Worcester. So much so that on many occasions Cousy would put on his sneakers, catch a ball, and drive to Crompton to play pickup games or just practice.

“Today is different, however, because not only are we celebrating Bob Cousy, we are celebrating the basketball community here in Worcester as a whole, and also celebrating these wonderful updates,” Rose, chair of Memorials, city ​​parks and veterans recreation. , noted. “Crompton is home to basketball leagues, pickup games and kids learning to dribble – future basketball legends like Bob in the making.”

Augustus noted that Cousy had previously mentioned his two great love stories in life – his wife and the city of Worcester. Auguste said the ceremony is proof that the city had a reciprocal love affair with Cousy.

“The statue is cool, but it’s different,” Augustus said. “Thousands of people will see the statue, but it’s children who come here, children from Worcester. People will come here from this community, this neighborhood. Hopefully they will be inspired by playing on brand new courts that rank. . “

For Cousy, it has long been his honor and mission to give back to Worcester.

“I hope this event today will create opportunities for many young people, boys and girls, to look back and fondly remember their time and the positives they hopefully have. learned at Cousy Park, ”he said.

“I just want to thank everyone who brought me in for this ceremony. You have my gratitude and that of my family.”