Al “Digger” Cervi


Al “Digger” Cervi Famous memorial

Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA
Death 9 Nov 2009 (aged 92)
Rochester, Monroe County, New York, USA
Burial Pittsford, Monroe County, New York, USA
Plot Magnolia Mausoleum, Row 238, #5
Memorial ID 44132719 View Source

Hall of Fame Professional Basketball Player, Coach. He is considered by many as being one of the most successful players during the pre-NBA era. For nine seasons (1937 to 1938, 1945 to 1953), he played at the guard position in the National Basketball League and National Basketball Association with the Buffalo Bison, Rochester Royals and Syracuse Nationals. Born Alfred Nicholas Cervi, he attended East High School in Buffalo, New York where he was a standout player who achieved All-City honors in baseball as well as basketball. With no collegiate experience, his exceptional athletic skills were enough to enable him advancement from the sandlots to the NBL's Buffalo Bison in 1937. His career yielded to his service in the United States Army Air Force during World War II. Upon his return home, Cervi resumed his career and established himself as one of the top stars of the NBL. Now with the Rochester Royals, he led the league in scoring with 632 points during the 1946-1947 season and was named Most Valuable Player. By the 1948-1949 season, he was a member of the Syracuse Nationals (also called Nats) with the dual duty as player-coach winning Coach of the Year honors for that year. He concluded his playing career following the 1952-1953 season, remaining as coach and guiding the Nats to the 1954-1955 NBA Championship Title. Cervi was replaced by Paul Seymour (one of his players) as coach early in the 1956-1957 season. He returned to coach the Philadelphia Warriors for one season 1958-1959 before retiring. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1985 and was enshrined in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

Bio by: C.S.


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: C.S.
  • Added: 9 Nov 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 44132719
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Al “Digger” Cervi (12 Feb 1917–9 Nov 2009), Find a Grave Memorial ID 44132719, citing White Haven Memorial Park, Pittsford, Monroe County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .