NBA Basketball Legend Bill Russell gone at age 88

NBA legend Bill Russell dies at age 88
from Adam Stites, with

Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell died Sunday at age 88, his family announced on social media.

Russell was one of the best players in NBA history with five MVP awards and a record 11 NBA championships during his career, as well as two NCAA titles. In 2009, the NBA Finals MVP Award was named after Russell.

“…But for all the winning, Bill’s understanding of the struggle is what illuminated his life,” a statement from Russell’s family reads, in part. “From boycotting a 1961 exhibition game to unmask too-long-tolerated discrimination, to leading Mississippi’s first integrated basketball camp in the combustible wake of Medgar Evans’ assassination, to decades of activism ultimately recognized by his receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010, Bill called out injustice with an unforgiving candor that he intended would disrupt the status quo, and what a powerful example that, though never his humble intention, will forever inspire teamwork, selflessness and thoughtful change.”

Russell earned spots in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach, taking over as the Celtics’ head coach in 1966 while he was still a player on the team. During his three seasons as a player-coach, the Celtics won back-to-back titles in 1968 and 1969 before his retirement.

Russell led the NBA in rebounding five times and is one of only two players, along with Wilt Chamberlain, who recorded more than 20,000 career rebounds.