Al Cervi US Air Force 1940-45
Guard 5 ft 11 inches 170 lbs Buffalo Bisons 1937-38, Syracuse Reds 1939-40, Rochester Royals 1945-48, Syracuse Nationals 1948-1953, US Air Force 1940-45
Al Cervi was as tough a backcourt player as there was and is ranked as one best players in pro basketball history. A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Al Cervi did not attend college but after attending East High School in Buffalo NY, he later joined the Buffalo Bisons of the NBL, at age 20. Nicknamed Digger.
Al Cervi enlisted into the United States Air Force and was a star guard with military teams. After 5 years in the service, 1940-45 during World War II, he starred for the Rochester Royals, where he led the National Basketball League in 1946-47 scoring with 632 points in a 44 game schedule, averaging 14.4 ppg. His all-around play helped the Rochester Royals win the 1946 NBL Championship.
In 1948 Joe Cervi was chosen player/coach of the Syracuse Nationals of the NBA, and guided then to the NBA Crown in 1955. Joe Cervi was chosen NBL Coach of the Year in 1949. And, was coach of the winning 1954 Eastern All Stars in Madison Square Gareden. Joe Cervi also coached the Philadelphia Warriors one year, 1957. Coaching record: 366-264, with a 210-120 as player coach.
Al Cervi was well regarded as an aggressive defensive player as well as a leading scorer and was chosen All Pro honors five consecutive seasons, 1946-1950.