Bill Bradley is one of the most accomplished athletes on the planet. After a historic career on Princeton's basketball team, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he earned a Master’s degree. While overseas, Bradley played one season of professional basketball in Europe, and eventually decided to join the New York Knicks for the 1967–68 season. He spent his entire ten-year professional basketball career playing for the Knicks, winning two championship titles.
He then made a quick transition to politics in 1978, when he was elected U.S. Senator for New Jersey, serving until 1997. Bradley later unsuccessfully challenged then-Vice President Al Gore for the Democratic nomination in the 2000 presidential election. In recognition of his contribution to the sport of basketball, Bradley was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1982. Since then, he has authored several books, including a New York Times bestseller.
Without question, Bradley is the greatest basketball player to ever wear a Princeton jersey. After receiving 75 scholarship offers from college teams, Bradley thought his long-range future to be more important and enrolled without a scholarship from fabled Princeton University in 1961. A thinking man's player, Bradley was the focal point of Princeton's offense where he was a three-time All-America winner and the 1965 Associated Press Player of the Year.
With Bradley in tow, the Tigers captured the Ivy League championship in each of his three varsity seasons and reached the Final Four during his senior year. Bradley averaged 35 points per game that year to lead all scorers in the NCAA Tournament. In 1964 he was a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team that won a gold medal. After four years playing for the Tigers, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, while also winning that year's Sullivan Award as the country's best amateur athlete.
As a living legend on the campus of his alma mater, Bradley has been known to make appearances, often showing up in school colors. In 2008 he returned to take part in a celebration at Jadwin Gymnasium, where the University raised commemorative banners to celebrate that they were officially retiring the No. 42 jersey that Bradley wore for their team.
But a decade later, it was Bradley's turn to play benefactor, announcing that Princeton would be acquiring the Bill Bradley Papers. The papers, held in more than 1,000 boxes, primarily chronicle Bradley’s time in Congress. They include copies of his speeches and testimony, press releases, his schedules and appointments, and awards he received while in office. The collection also includes files from his legislative, administrative, and state office staff. And although closed to the public for now, the collection will be made open for research use as of 2032, ensuring that the Bradley legacy will always be a part of Princeton University.