Skip to main content
Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Hoop legend Bob Cousy, columnist Bill Reynolds to discuss book collaboration at URI forum Oct. 18

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

Part of series on ‘Contemporary Sport; Healthy Pursuit or Obsession’

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 7, 2005 -- Legendary Boston Celtics point guard Bob Cousy and award winning Providence Journal sports columnist Bill Reynolds will discuss their collaboration on the book, Cousy, at the Oct. 18, University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium.

The free, public discussion titled, “Cousy, The Making of a Great Book,” will be held at 7 p.m. on URI’s Kingston Campus in the Barry Marks Auditorium, Room 271 of the Chafee Social Science.
Providence Journal Executive Editor Joel Rawson will introduce Cousy and Reynolds.

The book has garnered strong praise from critics and readers. Sports Illustrated called it an astute biography. The Boston Globe called the book a “revealing retrospective of the man who changed the rhythms of a game that was once played inside a cage.”

A Worcester Telegram & Gazette piece on the book said Cousy was impressed with the extensive research done by Reynolds. Cousy told the reporter that Reynolds uncovered items written about him that he had never seen. The piece said the book is filled with “interesting tidbits and plenty of Worcester references.”

Reynolds writes that Cousy “was the first modern basketball player, the flashy playmaker, the first improviser, the first player to look inside the boundaries of a basketball court and see endless possibilities.”

Reynolds worked on the book for a year and a half. “The interview process occurred over two summers. I would go up there once a week between 9:30 and 11:30 in the morning. There was no small talk about the Red Sox or anything like that. We just went into the sun room and went to work. For me, it was great and I don’t think it could have been more fun for him or me,” he said.

Before the interviews, Reynolds poured over old books, newspapers and magazines to learn as much as he could about the Cousy era. “The average person thinks the NBA started with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, but there was a tremendous era that occurred well before that. I wanted to capture that period and Cousy was the thread that ran through it.”

Reynolds said he and Cousy will make it an engaging evening for the audience by encouraging questions, discussion and opinion.

According to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Cousy was nicknamed the "Houdini of the Hardwood" by sports writers, and is considered by many as the best playmaker ever. Cousy had an All-America career at Holy Cross, leading the Crusaders to three NCAA tournaments and the 1947 title.

Cousy's arrival in Boston coincided with that of head coach Red Auerbach, whose uptempo style of coaching suited Cousy's remarkable playmaking talents perfectly. It wasn't until midway through his second season that Cousy began to show the type of play that would make him a featured attraction in NBA arenas across the country.

In his second year, Cousy averaged 21.7 points per game his highest single-season mark. With the addition of fellow Hall of Famer Bill Russell in 1956, the Celtics became a dynasty, winning six championships. Cousy led the NBA in assists eight consecutive years (1953-60), played in 13 straight NBA All-Star Games, earned MVP honors in the 1954 and 1957 games, and racked up a career total 16,960 points.

A fierce competitor, Cousy was named to the NBA's 25th and 35th Anniversary All-Time teams in 1970 and 1980.

Reynolds, who has been writing four columns a week for The Providence Journal since 1983, has written several books, including Fall River Dreams, Lost Summer, the memoir Glory Days and two with Rick Pitino. Cousy is his eighth. Reynolds recently won first place in the New England Associated Press column contest. The volume, Best Sportswriting of 2005, published by Houghton-Miflin, includes one of Reynolds’ columns.

Major sponsors of the colloquium are The Providence Journal, Theta Chi Fraternity, URI Honors Program, URI President’s Office, Institute for International Sport, URI Office of the Provost, URI College of Arts and Sciences, URI College of Business Administration and the URI Division of University Advancement.

Co-sponsors are the URI Department of Athletics, Multicultural Center, College of Nursing, College of Human Science and Services, College of Pharmacy, Office of Student Affairs and Women’s Studies Program.

For more information, visit www.uri.edu/hc or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or debg@uri.edu.

The Honors Program at URI offers learning enrichment opportunities that broaden and enhance the undergraduate educational experience. The program features small classes, a nationally renowned honors colloquium, national scholarship advising, and in-depth study and research with select faculty mentors.

URI students must maintain a minimum 3.2 grade-point average to continue participation.

Open access to the Honors Program continues for qualified students throughout their undergraduate years. About 900 URI students participate in the Honors Program. About 60 students are participating in the Honors Colloquium this fall, which also has a companion class.