Springfield, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is deeply saddened to mark the loss of legendary NBA Player and Coach Bill Russell, who passed away at the age of 88. Mr. Russell was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975 for his achievements as a player and again in 2021 as a coach.
“The Basketball Hall of Fame is honored to forever celebrate the legacy and life of the legendary Bill Russell,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “There really is just no one like him in the game, past or present, that has meant so much in so many facets of the game, on and off the court. Bill will be remembered for his activism, selflessness, and commitment to principle, not to mention a championship record that is unrivaled in team sports. The game of basketball will forever be impacted and indebted to Mr. Russell; this is the passing of a true icon.”
The Basketball Hall of Fame will continue to celebrate Bill Russell’s life throughout the month of August. Fans are encouraged to visit in order to pay tribute to one of the game’s all-time greats. On display fans will find Russell’s 1963 game-worn regular season MVP Boston Celtics jersey, a basketball autographed by the 1956 gold medal USA basketball team, as well as Russell’s 1967 NBA All-Star Game jersey. Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to relive some of Russell’s greatest moments, including a spotlight on his legendary head-to-head battles with rival Wilt Chamberlain.
Russell’s incredible accomplishments included winning 11 NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics, earning the league’s Most Valuable Player Award five times, 12 selections as an NBA All-Star, and winning two collegiate national championships while a student-athlete at the University of San Francisco. He was an Olympic Gold Medalist in 1956 and earned some of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon an individual: The Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, the NBA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017, and the Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award in 2020.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame Museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame Museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.com, follow @hoophall @hoophallclassic or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.