2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient - Bill Russell

February 16, 2011 | 1:38

Bill Russell is the Boston Celtics’ Hall of Fame center who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball. He led the Boston Celtics to eleven league championships in thirteen years, a string that is virtually unparalleled in professional sport, including eight consecutive NBA titles between 1959 and 1966, and two in 1968 and 1969 while himself the Celtics coach. The first African American to coach in the NBA—indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States—Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of civil rights. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and has been a consistent advocate of equality.

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