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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Boston to erect statue of Celtics legend Bill Russell

Boston is building a statue of Celtics legend and basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell, a few months after President Obama suggested the city needed one.
The Boston Celtics announced Wednesday the statue would be designed by a local artist, and commemorate Russell as a sports champion, human rights leader and youth mentoring advocate.
In a statement, Russell, 77, said he was "uncomfortable with honors such as this," but added his years as captain of the Celtics "were the proudest moments of my career."
Russell led the Celtics to a record 11 league championships in 13 seasons.
Obama suggested Boston build a statue of Russell when he awarded him a Presidential Medal of Freedom in February. Obama said he hoped one day, children would look up to a statute "built not only to Bill Russell the player, but Bill Russell the man."
Whether winning championships, watching Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech or teaching basketball to an integrated group of kids in Jackson, Miss., during a turbulent period for civil rights in 1963, Russell never considered himself a part of history.
But he is the first person from the NBA to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Still sporting his trademark goatee, Russell wears the championship ring from his rookie season on his left hand and a ring given to him by NBA Commissioner David Stern commemorating every Celtics championship Russell was part of on his right hand.

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