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Oscar Robertson

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameOscar Palmer•Robertson
Used nameOscar•Robertson
Nick/petnamesBig O
Born24 November 1938 in Charlotte, Tennessee (USA)
Measurements196 cm / 90 kg
AffiliationsCincinnati Bearcats, Cincinnati (USA)
NOC United States


Until the advent of Michael Jordan, many people feel Oscar Robertson, “The Big O”, was the greatest guard to ever play basketball. A few went even further and called him the greatest basketball player period. Robertson started his road to stardom at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis and then took his show to the University of Cincinnati. For three consecutive years he led the NCAA in scoring, made first-team All-America, and was named collegiate Player of the Year. In his junior year, he broke the NCAA career scoring mark which had been set in a four-year career. Robertson was 6-5 (1.95) tall and was a natural guard, though he was probably the biggest man to ever play that position at the time. In 1959 he was on the gold medal winning team at the Pan American Games. At Rome in 1960 he often played forward because of his size and jumping ability.

After the Olympics, Robertson joined the Cincinnati Royals with whom he stayed until 1970 when he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was while playing with the Bucks in 1971 that he finally played on an NBA champion. In his 14-year pro career, Robertson re-wrote the record book. He was 10 times named to first team All-NBA and twice, in the twilight of his career, was named to the second team. He was Rookie of the Year in 1961 and MVP in 1964 – rare feats back then for a guard. Perhaps the best measure of his dominance is the triple-double, a new term coined to describe the exploits of Magic Johnson, and which refers to a game in which a player scores in double figures in points, rebounds, and assists. It was not until the seventh year of his career that Robertson’s career averages fell below a triple-double standard. Later in life, Robertson donated a kidney to his daughter, who was quite ill with kidney failure.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1960 Summer Olympics Basketball (Basketball) USA Oscar Robertson
Basketball, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold

Special Notes