Sports News

The NBA and Pacers Sports & Entertainment announce statue honoring Hall-Of-Famer Oscar Robertson, Indy's first All-Star

The NBA, in partnership with Pacers Sports & Entertainment, has commissioned a statue to honor Indianapolis Crispus Attucks legend and Naismith Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at The Tip-Off at Bicentennial Unity Plaza.

The Commissioner welcomed Robertson to the stage and shared the news before thousands of fans celebrating the official beginning of NBA All-Star 2024.
From design to completion, the statue will take approximately one year until it is unveiled to the public. Once finished, it will be permanently placed at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis and will be unveiled during a ceremony in 2025.
“Oscar Robertson’s legendary basketball journey began in Indianapolis where he led Crispus Attucks High School to the first state championship in the country won by an all-Black team,” said Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner.  “We are thrilled to join the Pacers in commissioning a statue in recognition of Oscar’s extraordinary impact on the game and his hometown.”
Indianapolis artist Ryan Feeney has been commissioned to create the statue, which depicts Robertson in his NBA All-Star jersey atop a basketball-shaped base made by scanning the actual 1955 Crispus Attucks State Championship Trophy. The metal for the bronze piece was sourced from Casting Art & Technology in Cincinnati, where Robertson was a three-time NCAA All-American at the University of Cincinnati and where he began his professional career with the Cincinnati Royals.
Robertson, widely considered one of the NBA’s all-time great players, is the first Indiana high school basketball player to be named an NBA All-Star. He was selected to the All-Star team 12 straight times during his 14-year career, earning All-NBA honors 11 times and winning the League MVP for the 1963-64 season. Robertson has also been credited with revolutionizing the point guard position, holding the record for most triple-doubles in League history until 2021 and being the first-ever NBA player to average a triple-double for an entire season.
For many Hoosiers, Robertson’s most significant legacy is the important impact he and his Crispus Attucks teammates had on Indiana high school basketball history. In 1955, the Tigers became the first all-Black team in the country to win a state championship, following it up with a second-consecutive IHSAA state championship in 1956. Robertson was named Indiana Mr. Basketball and the ’56 team was the first in state history to finish undefeated, posting a 31-0 record with a 22-point championship game victory over Lafayette Jefferson High School.
“It is important to immortalize the impacts Oscar has had on the court and well beyond the game of basketball, and this wonderful tribute will ensure generations to come can celebrate his remarkable legacy,” said Rick Fuson, PS&E’s Chief Executive Officer. 
The Robertson statue adds to an impressive list of commissioned pieces Feeney has created for landmarks throughout Indianapolis and beyond, including the impressive 9-foot sculpture of Indianapolis Colts Hall of Famer Peyton Manning that sits outside Lucas Oil Stadium. His other works include the bronze eagle atop the Indianapolis 9/11 memorial, the metal piano for the Hoagie Carmichael statue on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, and the bronze cast of a sheriff deputy located outside the front doors of the Sheriff’s Department.
“It is an honor to have been chosen to sculpt a lasting tribute of the greatest basketball player ever to come from Indianapolis, Oscar Robertson,” said Feeney. “My hope is to make Mr. Robertson and the city of Indianapolis proud.”