University of San Francisco basketball legend Bill Russell, class of 1956, received the NBA’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural NBA Awards broadcast on TNT June 26.
Russell led the Dons to back-to-back national championships in 1955 and 1956, and — representing USF — led the U.S. to gold in the 1956 Olympics.
He went on to win 11 NBA championships playing for the Boston Celtics, more than any other player in history. He was a 12-time All-Star and won five NBA MVP awards. In 2009, the NBA Finals MVP Award was renamed in honor of Russell.
Known for his exceptional shot-blocking skills, Russell “revolutionized NBA defensive concepts,” according to the NBA.
At the ceremony, the NBA also recognized an MVP, rookie of the year, coach of the year and other award winners.
Courtesy of University of San Francisco News