WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The basketball world is mourning the loss of a true basketball God.
Bill Russell, the dominant center and cornerstone of the Boston Celtics the dynasty that won eight straight titles and 11 overall during his career passed away on Sunday. The Hall of Famer was 88.

Born in West Monroe and moved to San Francisco at the age of seven over 15 years, beginning with his junior year at the University of San Francisco, Russell had the most remarkable career of any player in the history of team sports. At USF, he was a two-time All-American, won two straight NCAA championships, and led the team to 55 consecutive wins. He won a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics.

Bill was an outspoken civil rights advocate throughout his career. Russell is known as the man who changed the face of pro basketball.

During his 13 years in Boston, he carried the Celtics to the NBA finals 12 times, winning the championship 11 times. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 by President Barack Obama, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Bill Russell continues to hold the most rebounds in a NBA finals with 1,718 which is doubled then Wilt Chamberlain’s 862. Tributes for NBA hall of Famer have poured in from high-profile figures.

NBA legend Michael Jordan released a statement saying “Bill Russell was a pioneer,
as a player, as a champion, as the NBA’s first black head coach, and as an activist.

Many others share the same message on social media “There is no greater champion
than Bill Russell, says fans on social media”.