13 Facts About Al Cervi


Alfred Nicholas Cervi was an American professional basketball player and coach in the National Basketball League and National Basketball Association.


Al Cervi earned the nickname "Digger" because of his hard-nosed style of defense.


Al Cervi added coaching to his duties in 1948 before retiring as a player in 1953.


Al Cervi dropped out of school after his junior year when he was recruited by the Buffalo Bisons of the newly formed NBL.


Al Cervi made the All-NBL First Team in 1947 and 1948.


Al Cervi played a major role in the development of Dolph Schayes.


The pinnacle of Al Cervi's coaching career was leading his squad to the NBA Championship over the Fort Wayne Pistons in seven games in 1955.


Al Cervi succeeded George Senesky as coach of the Philadelphia Warriors in 1958, but left after one season to accept a more lucrative job in the trucking business as an area manager for Eastern Freightways, Inc in Rochester, New York.


Al Cervi lived in the suburb of Brighton for the last 58 years of his life.


Al Cervi was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985.


Al Cervi received similar honors from the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.


Al Cervi died on November 9,2009 in Rochester, New York at the age of 92.


Al Cervi was featured in the book, Basketball History in Syracuse, Hoops Roots by author Mark Allen Baker published by The History Press in 2010.