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Bill Russell, 11-Time NBA Champion And Boston Celtics Great, Has Passed Away At The Age of 88

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Bill Russell

(CTN News) – Bill Russell, the cornerstone of the Boston Celtics’ dynasty that won eight straight titles and 11 overall, died Sunday. In his 88th year, the Hall of Famer passed away.

A statement posted on social media read, “Bill Russell passed away peacefully with Jeannine by his side.”. A memorial service will be held in his honor shortly.

“Nonetheless, Bill’s understanding of the struggle illuminated his life. From boycotting a 1961 exhibition game to expose long-tolerated discrimination to leading Mississippi’s first integrated basketball program following Medgar [Evers’] murder, to decades of activism ultimately recognized by his recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom,

`”Bill’s dedication not only disrupted the status quo, but he inspired teamwork, selflessness and thoughtful change,” the statement read.

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for each of your prayers for our beloved Bill Russell. Perhaps you’ll relive a few of the golden moments he gave us, or recall his trademark laugh as he explained the real story behind those memorable moments. That would be one last and lasting win for Bill.

His 15-year career at the University of San Francisco was the most remarkable in the history of team sports. His USF team won two straight NCAA championships and he led it to 55 consecutive victories as a two-time All-American. At the 1956 Olympics, he won a gold medal.

Bill Russell led the Celtics to 11 NBA championships during his 13 years in Boston:

Bill Russell was called “the greatest champion in all of team sports” in a statement by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Silver said, “I was delighted when Bill was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I called him basketball’s Babe Ruth for how he transcended time. He was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will last a lifetime.”

His uncanny shot blocking revolutionized NBA defensive concepts as a five-time MVP and 12-time All-Star. Four times he led the league in rebounding with 21,620 rebounds — an average of 22.5 per game.

In one game, he had 51 rebounds, and in two others, he had 49, and he had at least 1,000 rebounds in 12 straight seasons. Over the course of his career, Russell averaged 15.1 points and 4.3 assists per game.

Russell was considered the best player in NBA history until Michael Jordan broke through in the 1990s.

Titles 11 1st
Appearances 12 1st
Games 70 1st
Rebounds 1,718 1st
Minutes 3,185 1st
— ESPN Stats & Information

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