ST. LOUIS – October 10, 2023 – A man who has earned many titles throughout an impactful and historic life and career, Bill Bradley will gain one more: the Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportsmanship. Bradley will accept the highest award for sportsmanship at the 2023 Musial Awards presented by Maryville University on November 18 at Stifel Theatre in St. Louis. The special award recognizes iconic sports figures who have embodied class, dignity, generosity, integrity, and excellence over the course of their careers.
As a standout basketball player in college and the NBA, Bradley matched his elite skillset with a level of class and character few peers possessed. Upon his retirement from basketball, he carried those qualities into his next career in politics as a U.S. Senator from New Jersey from 1979 until 1997. Among his various impressive accomplishments – as a boy scout, student, basketball player, senator, and author – Bradley constantly used his influence, fame, and platform as a vehicle to achieve good for humanity.
The Musial Family said, “Throughout his life and basketball career, Bill has represented the virtues our dad exemplified, setting a wonderful standard through his intellect, humility, and service to our country. We admire Bill’s thoughtful and selfless approach on and off the court, as well as the grace, respect and emphasis on teamwork that were hallmarks of his role on the NCAA Final Four team at Princeton and the NBA Champion New York Knicks.”
A native of Crystal City, Mo., Bradley learned many lessons about hard work, fair play, and equality. He excelled on the basketball court at Crystal City High School, scoring 3,068 points in his high school career and was twice named an All-American. He received 75 scholarships to play basketball in college and accepted none of them in order to study and play basketball at Princeton. There, Bradley continued his on-court excellence becoming an All-American and the 1965 AP College Player of the Year. During college, Bradley was a member of the gold-medal winning 1964 U.S. Olympic basketball team. He became a household name and led Princeton to the 1965 Final Four, at which he was named Tournament MVP as Princeton finished third in the nation.
Drafted by the New York Knicks in 1965, Bradley first studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England and served six months in the United States Air Force Reserves before starting his NBA career with the Knicks in 1967. Bradley was a part of the Knicks’ 1970 and 73 NBA Championship teams, scored 9,217 points in his 10-year career, earning him election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983. By then, Bradley was already four years into his political career as a U.S. Senator representing New Jersey.
“I believe that sports teach us valuable and impactful lessons that extend to life outside of athletic endeavors, and among the greatest virtues we can learn and practice in our lives is that of sportsmanship,” said Bradley. “In my basketball career, I always tried to remember my pure love of the game that would lead to an unselfish pass or a screen away from the ball, the responsibility to teammates, coaches, and fans to stay in shape, play hard, and honor the game. To be recognized in the same category as the great Stan Musial, is truly an unexpected and remarkable honor that I am humbled and proud to accept.”
Bradley took those life lessons about selflessness, morality, and a determined work ethic and put them into words as an accomplished author of seven books – two which focus on the values of fair play and sportsmanship: Values of the Game, published in 2000, and We Can All Do Better, published in 2012. Through his published works, he provides a roadmap for millions of readers to be thoughtful, hopeful, caring, brave, and disciplined in any phase of life and citizenship, for the common good.
The nationally televised Musial Awards annually celebrates the year’s greatest moments of sportsmanship and those in sports who exemplify class and character. It is named for St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan Musial, a beloved baseball icon and civic ambassador, who was the ultimate good sport.
“From his small-town upbringing to the most respected academic institutions, the bright lights and expectations of New York City, and the hallowed halls of Congress, one thing about Bill Bradley has never changed – his decency, honor, and civility have always been at the forefront of everything he has done,” said Marc Schreiber, executive producer of the Musial Awards and president of the St. Louis Sports Commission. “Bill has personified the kindness, character, and extraordinary sportsmanship Stan The Man exhibited, and we all admire and seek to emulate. He is a perfect recipient of the highest award for sportsmanship, and we can’t wait for Bill to return to his home state and accept the Musial Lifetime Achievement Award on November 18.”
Previous recipients of the Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportsmanship include Albert Pujols, Wayne & Janet Gretzky, Hank Aaron, Bart Conner & Nadia Comaneci, Jim Thome, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Cal Ripken, Jr., Arnold Palmer, and Joe Torre.
Tickets for the Musial Awards range from $10 to $35 and are on sale through Ticketmaster. In addition to individual awards show tickets, the Musial Awards offers a special Honoree Circle ticket, which includes a seat in the orchestra level, a pass to the Musial Awards After Party, and reserved parking for $125. All-inclusive packages and sponsorships are also available. More information and a link to purchase tickets is available at MusialAwards.com/tickets.
The Musial Awards will air throughout the country on CBS on Sunday, December 24. This is the fifth consecutive year the network will broadcast the most important awards in sports.
All recipients of the 2023 Musial Awards will be announced later this month.
MORE ON THE MUSIALS:
The Musial Awards presented by Maryville University is produced by the St. Louis Sports Commission and the National Sportsmanship Foundation, a charitable nonprofit organization. In addition to keeping Stan The Man’s legacy alive, the mission of the Musial Awards is to encourage kindness, selflessness, integrity and civility in sports and society – and to inspire people across the nation to be good sports. The event has occurred in St. Louis since 2005. Maryville University has served as the presenting sponsor since 2011. The school’s involvement, leadership and generosity have helped make the Musial Awards the most inspiring night in sports®.