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Proposal seeks to rename part of Calhoun Street to 'Oscar Robertson Way'

Oscar Robertson encourages white athletes to join black teammates in protests
Posted at 2:26 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 00:05:07-04

CINCINNATI — The stretch of Calhoun Street between Vine Street and Clifton Avenue could bear a new name honoring former Cincinnati Royals and University of Cincinnati great Oscar Robertson.

The Cincinnati City Planning and Engagement committee hosted a meeting during which community members living in the area can discuss the name-change proposal, introduced by Myron Hughes, a friend of Robertson.

Known as the “Big O,” Robertson was the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season (1961-62). He remains the league’s all-time leader in triple-doubles with 181.

Robertson, who signed his contract with the Royals in Carew Tower in September 1960, was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1961. He was the league MVP in 1964. He won three NBA All-Star Game MVPs and received nine All-NBA First Team honors.

Robertson is also a 12-time NBA All-Star and was named one of basketball's greatest players in 1996.

Robertson was the longest-serving president of the National Basketball Players Association from 1965-1974. His antitrust lawsuit against the NBA in part sought changes in the NBA Draft and players’ movement. The 1976 settlement -- known as the Oscar Robertson Rule -- changed the balance of power in professional sports and ushered in free agency in the NBA and other professional sports.

He was the first three-time national College Player of the Year while at UC and a three-time First Team All-American from 1958 to 1960. Robertson led the Bearcats to a 97-7 record and two NCAA Final Four appearances (1959 and 1960).

A Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, Robertson was also honored with an NBA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 — he was honored with the same award during NBA All-Star Week in 2016 as well.

There remains an 8-foot bronze statue of Robertson outside of UC’s Fifth Third Arena.

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