Bill Russell, the dominant center who achieved a record 11 championships with the Boston Celtics, died this Sunday at the age of 88, his family reported with a message on the former player's Twitter.
"Bill Russell, the most prolific winner in American sports history, passed away peacefully this Sunday at the age of 88, with his wife, Jeannine, by his side," the family said.
He was recognized with five NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards and captained the US team that won the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics.
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In 1957, at the age of 23, Russell won his first ring and between 1959 and 1966 he accumulated eight more in a row.
He was the first African-American coach in American sports, and in that facet he achieved his last two titles in 1968 and 1969, the year of his farewell with Boston.
Russell was also the first black player to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975.