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Bill Russell (basketball)

From Academic Kids

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Bill Russell being carried off the court after leading USF to its first NCAA basketball tournament title in 1955.

William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is a former American basketball player remembered for his central role in the Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 championships in the 13 seasons that he played. His major contribution to the sport was raising defensive play to a new level; he is commonly considered the greatest defensive center to ever play the game.

Born in Monroe, Louisiana and raised in Oakland, California, the 6-foot 9-inch (2.08 m) tall Russell played college basketball at the University of San Francisco, which he led to NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, including an impressive string of 55 consecutive victories. Russell was also the captain of the 1956 United States men's Olympic basketball team, which won the gold medal at the Melbourne Summer Games.

Russell played for the Celtics from 1956 to 1969, winning the NBA championship every year except 1958 and 1967. In 1966 he became the first black coach in the NBA. He served as player/coach from 1966 to 1969, and later coached the Seattle SuperSonics (1973 to 1977) and Sacramento Kings (1987 to 1988).

Russell has received virtually every NBA honor that exists, and in 1968, he received Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" award. In 1980, he was named the greatest player in the history of the NBA by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America. He was exceptionally active in the American Civil Rights Movement. At one point, he refused to play a game when he and his black teammates were refused service at a local restaurant.

He was life-long friends with another legend, the late Wilt Chamberlain, who many consider to be the greatest ever offensive player; their on-court battles were perhaps the greatest individual rivalry in the history of the league.

External links

fr:Bill Russell ja:ビル・ラッセル

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