The family of Bill Russell announced that he passed away on Sunday at the age of 88.
Russell was the first player to win an Olympic Gold Medal, an NBA Championship, and a collegiate championship. He was a 5-time NBA MVP and 12-time All-Star.
His illustrious career also featured 11 NBA titles with the Boston Celtics, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and admission into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The NBA honoured Russell with a lifetime achievement award.
He participated in civil rights marches alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and was the first Black head coach of any significant American sport.
An announcement… pic.twitter.com/KMJ7pG4R5Z— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) July 31, 2022
Russell is “the greatest champion in all of team sports,” according to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.”
“Bill stood for ideals of equality, respect, and inclusiveness that he infused into the very fabric of our league—values that were much more important than athletics. Bill passionately promoted social justice and civil rights throughout the height of his athletic career, a legacy he left to subsequent generations of NBA players “said Silver. Bill persevered despite the jeers, threats, and unfathomable hardship by holding fast to his conviction that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.