President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to basketball legend Bob Cousy on Thursday.
The president awarded the medal in the Oval Office of the White House surrounded by nearly two dozen family and friends.
A point guard for the Boston Celtics, Cousy helped win six NBA championships in seven years from 1957-62.
“You’re one of the all-time greats in the history of sports — not just basketball — and an inspiration to us all,” Trump said. “And today, America honors and celebrates everything that you have achieved.”
Trump spoke at length about Cousy’s legendary performance in the game of basketball and his contributions to his community outside of the court.
“If I’d known I was going to be eulogized I would probably have done the only decent thing and died,” Cousy joked.
Cousy thanked Trump for the honor, calling him “the most extraordinary president in my lifetime.”
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin attended the ceremony with his wife and Fox News reporter Ed Henry.
Speaking about his love for his family, Cousy started choking up with tears.
“That’s why you shouldn’t invite old men to the White House. They get emotional.” Cousy said.
Trump credited Manchin for reaching out to him about Cousy, after learning that Cousy would be honored to receive the award.
Cousy, now 91, admitted in a recent interview that he did not vote for President Trump or Hillary Clinton, but rather Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. But he said that would change in 2020.
“This President will definitely have my vote in 2020,” he said. “I simply feel, without getting into the politics of it at all, like many Americans — I agree with some of the things he’s done and disagree with others.”