Alfred Nicholas (Al) Cervi (born February 12, 1917) is an American former professional basketball player and coach. He was born in Buffalo, New York. One of the strongest backcourt players of the 1940's and 1950's, Cervi played in the National Basketball League (NBL) and NBA. His nickname is "Digger."
Cervi attended East High School in Buffalo, but never attended college.
Cervi began playing some semi-pro ball even when he was in high school, but his professional career began in earnest when Allie Heerdt (the former star of the Buffalo Germans) recruited him to play with the Buffalo Bisons in 1935-36. His playing career was disrupted by World War II, however, and he spent five years in the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he did manage to play some service ball.
After the War he joined the National Basketball League's Rochester Royals. Cervi led the NBL in scoring for the 1946-47 season and was named league MVP. He became player-coach of the NBL Syracuse Nationals in 1948, and continued in this role after the Nats entered the NBA in 1949. Cervi retired as a player after the 1952-53 season, but continued to coach the Nats through the 1956-57 season. In the 1954-55 season, Cervi coached the Nats to the NBA championship. In 1958-59 Cervi coached the Philadelphia Warriors.
Cervi was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985 as a player. In 2003 he joined the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.