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“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.” -Bill Russell

SPORTS HERO:
BILL RUSSELL
by Caleb from Toronto

“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.” These are the wise words said by an NBA legend that broke through racist bounds and pioneered a way for African-American men in to the NBA. This very inspirational man is Bill Russell.

Bill Russell was an NBA player who played 13 seasons from 1956-1969. Not only was he the fourth African-American player to sign with the NBA team, he was the first African-American coach from 1966-1969. Bill Russell won five most valuable player awards in the 1958, 1961-1963, and the 1965 seasons, and managed to win a large total of 11 NBA championships in 1957, 1959-1966 and 1968-1969 in a mere 13 seasons in the league.

Bill Russell was born in Monroe, Louisiana and lived there for most of his childhood until he moved to Oakland, California to attend McClymonds high school, for their outstanding basketball program. After graduating from McClymonds high school he went to University of San Francisco on a basketball scholarship based purely on his height, and lived there until he was drafted into the NBA in 1956. He was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks and then was immediately traded to the Boston Celtics for his whole NBA career. He lived in Boston for most of his life. Bill Russell was a 6 foot 10 inch, 220-pound center for the Celtics, and in his last three seasons he was a player-coach, which consisted of coaching his team while, at the same time leading it (from 1966-1969). After His NBA career, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame for his amazing career.

My hero was born on February 12 1934. He is still living today and his 77th birthday will be coming up this February.

Bill Russell is important to me because he helped pioneer a way for African-American people into the world of the NBA. Bill Russell was one of the first African-American players in the NBA to have such an amazing career. He made the very white NBA organization more easily accessible by African-Americans all over the United States. He was the first African-American coach, the first African-America to win the most valuable player award in the NBA, and only the fourth African-American player to sign in the NBA. The reason he is most important to me is his coaching career. My dream is to be an NBA coach and he was the first African-American coach and a great coach, which allowed him to win three NBA championships in his first three seasons. He has made a difference in my life because he has broken through racial barriers, which now allows for there to be African-American coaches in the NBA, which is what I dream to be. Bill Russell changed my life with his amazing actions.


Written by Caleb from Toronto
This story has been submitted by a guest user and does not necessarily represent the views of The My Hero Project or its staff.

Photos courtesy of http://armchairgm.wikia.com/Bill_Russell
Last changed on: 12/3/2010

NBA.com It is a biography of the amazing stuff Bill Russell has done.

Hoopedia It is a biography of the amazing stuff Bill Russell has done.

The MY HERO Project For Caleb's digital Gallery page dedicated to Bill Russell.

 

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