Ernie DiGregorio

After a standout career at Providence College, Ernie DiGregorio brought his high-energy game to the NBA, where he’d win top rookie honors.

Ernie DiGregorio won the National Basketball Association’s Rookie of the Year Award in 1973-74, as he helped revolutionize the concept of the fast-break offense. Averaging 15.2 points-per-game, the ball-sharing DiGregorio paced the league with 8.2 assists-per-game that season.

“Ernie D” was a college sensation before entering the NBA, leaving countless behind-the-back passes and three consecutive team MVP awards in his wake at Providence. He was a consensus All-American player and the Lapchick Award winner as the nation’s top senior. The ECAC named him the Eastern Player of the Decade for the 1970s.

DiGregorio played in the NBA with the Buffalo Braves, Los Angeles Lakers, and Boston Celtics, and was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.