Russell was born on February 12, 1934 in Monroe, Louisiana. He played for the University of San Francisco basketball team, leading the school to two consecutive NCAA Championships. In 1956, he captained the USA National team that won Olympic Gold at the summer games.
Bill Russell’s Impressive Career
The basketball icon spent his entire NBA career with the Celtics, and he has built his fortune with a Hall of Fame career. Overall, he averaged 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 44.0 percent from the field. Russell also won 11 championships, five MVPs and made the All-Star team 12 times.
Russell became the first NBA player to earn $100,000 in salary, which is the same as $600,000 in 2020. One can only imagine how much money he would have earned if he was playing in today’s NBA.
In 2009, the NBA renamed the Finals MVP trophy after Russell, who is one of seven players to win an NCAA championship, NBA title and Gold medal.
In 2011, President Barack Obama honored Russell with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor an American civilian can receive. Moreover, in 2013, the city of Boston unveiled an interactive statue for the legacy of Russell in City Hall Plaza.
For those not in the know, Russell’s No. 6 is also hanging in the rafters at the Celtics’ stadium in downtown Boston. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to ever step on the NBA hardwood.
Bill Russell’s Projects And Personal Life
Russell is also the co-founder of MENTOR, an organization that strives to help young people get supportive relationships they need to grow and develop into thriving, productive and engaged adults. Although Russell is not currently working for the organization, he is on the Board of Directors Emeritus list.
In terms of his personal life, Russell had four wives. He’s currently married to Jeannine Russell, but he has his three kids with his first wife, Rose Swisher. Russell’s kids are named Karen Russell, William Russell Jr. and Jacob Russell.
Along with being arguably the best defensive center in NBA history, Bill Russell was also the first black head coach in NBA history when he coached the Celtics in 1966.