Dr. Anthony Fauci: ‘Bob Cousy was my absolute hero’

The Celtics legend also called his fellow Holy Cross alum a hero back in March.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been hailed as a hero by many people for his work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Out of all of the praise that he’s received, none may be more important to him than when Celtics legend Bob Cousy called him a “hero” in March.

“He deserved his [Presidential Medal of Freedom] because he has saved so many lives even before now,” Cousy told the Boston Herald of his fellow Holy Cross alum. “He was the head guy during the HIV crisis. He participated in finding that treatment. Then he was the main man (in 2014) when Ebola hit us. And now of course, he’s [Donald] Trump’s favorite talking head. He doesn’t leave Trump’s side and he’s playing a gigantic role.”


In an interview with Dan Diamond on Politico’s “Pulse Check” podcast, Fauci took his turn to dish out some praise.

“When I was a point guard in school, Bob Cousy was my absolute hero,” Fauci said.

Like Cousy, Fauci grew up in New York City and played point guard for his high school team. Fauci cites that as part of his reason as to why he views Cousy as his hero.

“The reason is, relatively speaking, he was short and fast,” Fauci said. “So, I inherited a couple of things from my father. One, he was a champion sprinter in high school in New York City. He was the New York City champ in sprinting. So I got his speed. Unfortunately, I got his height. So, Bob Cousy was my total hero.”


Fauci, who stands at 5-foot-7, was actually the captain of his basketball team at Regis High School. However, he didn’t play basketball at Holy Cross like his fellow alum.  Even though his basketball days are long over, Cousy still means the world to Fauci.

“To have Bob Cousy, 60 years later, call me his hero is as good as anything, I gotta tell you. It really is.”

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