Basketball player Bill Russell: biography, sports career

Bill Russell is a famous American basketball player, one of the old-timers of the Boston Celts. The player was awarded the title of the most valuable player of the National Basketball Association 5 times and was repeatedly attracted to participate in all-star matches.

Player Talents

Bill Russell is a basketball player who is considered one of the most successful center players in NBA history. Due to the growth of 2.08 m, the player coped with the blocking shots of the opponent. The specified skill was one of the reasons for achieving success in the Major Leagues with the Boston Celtics team.

bill russell

Russell performed the rebounds perfectly. According to the indicated indicator, the player was included in the list of the best NBA basketball players 4 times. Only two players in league history managed to make 50 rebounds in one match. And one of them is Bill Russell.

In fact, the player was never considered the main scorer in the team from Boston. Bill rarely hit the opponent’s basket. However, this lack fully compensated for the ability to assist partners.

Bill Russell: statistics

During his professional career in the NBA, the player managed to achieve the following indicators:

  • participation in games - 963;
  • points scored - 14 522 (an average of 15.1 successful hits on the opponent’s ring during the match);
  • transfers - 4100 (an average of 4.3 per game);
  • rebounds - 21,620 (an average of 22.5 per match).

bill russell statistics

Bill Russell: biography

William Russell was born February 12, 1934. At that time, his mother Katie and father Charles lived in the provincial town of West Monroe, located in Louisiana. Due to racial persecution, the family soon had to move to Auckland, California. Here, the family’s affairs did not go well. Bill spent most of his childhood wandering with his parents in apartments allocated by the state housing fund.

Since the head of the family had to constantly be in search of work, the boy initially received maternal education. When Bill was 12 years old, Katie Russell died suddenly. The father had to deal with the child, who said goodbye to the work of a trucker and got the position of a steelworker at a local factory. This was the impetus for the development of little Bill's interest in sports, as his father often brought him to the basketball court on the weekend.

boston celtics

Russell began playing in youth teams from an early age. The main advantage of the boy over his peers was high jumps, long arms. However, Bill's tactical thinking left much to be desired. As a result, the young player had to leave his first school team.

Unleash the potential of a trainer helped the new school. Active training under the guidance of a mentor allowed the player to develop a unique style of defensive action on the site. Several years passed, and Russell drew the attention of a sports agent that represented the interests of the team from the University of San Francisco.

University years

Once in a higher education institution, Bill Russell fell under the care of the new coach Phil Fulpert, who made him the main center of his team. Unlike many previous mentors of the guy, the head of the university basketball team was not interested in the racial affiliation of the players, which was a real inspiration for William.

bill russell biography

The main advantage over teammates in his student years at Russell was the ability to quickly move around the site from one opponent to another. Aggressively exposing the block, Bill forced opponents to change the direction of throws. In combination with impressive growth and dimensions, these abilities subsequently became key in the career of a young player. At the end of several seasons, Russell managed to find fame for one of the strongest defenders in college basketball.

NBA career start

Bill Russell's successes in the university team did not go unnoticed by agents from the National Basketball Association. For the first time interest in the player showed Red Auerbach in 1956, who at that time was the coach of the Boston Celtics. It was in this team that there was a shortage of players who were able to carry out rebounds and cope with an opponent in the center position.

In addition to Russell, a team of young talented fellow Kay C Jones was invited to the team. As a result, during one viewing of young players, two college youths joined the NBA professional team at the same time. Subsequently, the decision of Red Auerbach was recognized as one of the best in the history of sports transfers between university and professional teams.

Performances at the Boston Celtics

For the team from Boston, Bill Russell was lucky to make his debut in the 1956-1957 season. Thanks to the successful actions of the basketball player from the first matches, the effectiveness of the team’s actions in defense has significantly increased.

bill russell basketball player

For many years, Russell played for the Celtics at a high stable level. This allowed him to enter the list of legendary NBA players. During 12 seasons in the major league, Bill added at least 1,000 rebounds each year to his piggy bank of achievements. Subsequently, the player’s fame allowed him to be the head coach of his native team, and later lead the teams of Seattle Super Sonic and Sacramento Kings.

National team games

Russell's leadership in a team from Boston was the occasion for his invitation to perform for the US national team. The most successful for the player was 1956. William faced a difficult choice - either to play the debut season for the Boston Celtics or to demonstrate talent at the Olympic Games in Australia. Subsequently, Bill decided to lean toward the second option.

Russell, who was awarded the title of captain of the national team, together with partners managed to win gold awards at the world sports forum. In the final, the US team under the leadership of Gerald Tucker outplayed basketball from the USSR with a score of 89:55. For the game at the Olympic tournament, Bill managed to hit the ring of opponents on average more than 14 times, and his team won matches with a difference of about 50 points.


In 1966, Bill Russell received an offer to become a playing coach for his native team from Boston. However, William did not manage to cope with new duties for a short time - right up to the 1969 season. For some time, moral turmoil caused the player to leave the coaching activity, which left a deep imprint on his soul after the unexpected breakdown of his marriage, the assassination of President Robert Kennedy, and the Vietnam War. William abandoned keeping fit, gained weight, stopped attending coaching meetings.

However, Russell did not completely say goodbye to basketball. The once-legendary player returned to the position of coach in 1973, when he was offered the position of head of the Seattle Super Sonic team. In the 1987-1988 season, Bill led the Sacramento Kings.

Having said goodbye to Boston at one time, Bill Russell was never able to find a use for himself as a successful coach. His work with Sacramento and Seattle was unsuccessful.

sacramento kings

At the end of his career, the legendary player took up commentary, participating in television projects. Today, Bill lives a secluded life in the suburbs of Seattle, regularly attends matches of his native Boston Celtics team and acts as a kind of spiritual mentor for young members of the team.


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