(DAIQUON) Bill Russell was born on February 12, 1934, in Monroe, Louisiana.
Growing up in the South at that time was very difficult , his father struggled to find a job because Louisana was divided from segregation and filled with racism. His father decided they would no longer tolerate the segregated South and moved the family to Oakland, California, where his father found work at a ship yard.
Residing to California might have been a good move for them but they still couldn’t catch a break. In 1946, Bill’s mom became quite sick with the flu and died. Russell was crushed by the death of his mother. She was his biggest advocate and always pushed him to be great.
To occupy his time Russell began to play basketball. When Russell first started playing he wasn’t very good, in fact he was struggling for play time at McClymonds High School in Oakland, California. As years went on Russell kept progressing as an athlete and started earning play time by his senior year. In the fall of 1952, he went to the University of San Francisco as a walk on, then eventually earned a scholarship .
Russell’s larger than life stature, standing at 6’9, began to attract attention on campus . During his collegiate career, he led his team to consecutive NCAA tittles in ’55 and ’56. Plus he was averaging 20.7 points per game with an addition of 20.5 rebounds.
After dominating on the college level, Russell was drafted to the National Basketball Association. He was drafted to the Boston Celtics anchoring the middle floor and helping them finish with the best record in the league in 1957. They went on to win the title over the Hawks in a long stretch of 7 intense games.
In 1966, Bill led them to 8 consecutive titles, then after the coach retired he was the player coach leading them to 2 more titles. Following the 1969 season, he retired from the game.
Russell was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975 .