Photos: Bill Russell through the years

NBA legend and Hall of Famer Bill Russell died Sunday at the age of 88. The former University of San Francisco and Boston Celtics center was the first black professional basketball superstar to win 11 championships and five MVPs during his career.

When legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach decided to retire, he handed over the coaching responsibilities to Russell, who was still in his prime, making him the first black head coach of a major professional sports team in America.

Russell won two NCAA titles at USF, alongside future Celtics teammate KC Jones. The two helped lead the USA to the gold medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.

Here is the Los Angeles Times obituary of a legendary athlete, social justice campaigner and civil rights activist. And here is the reaction to his death.

A look at his life on and off the basketball court:

Bill Russell shoots a layup during a photo session at the University of San Francisco.

Bill Russell hits a layup during a photo session at the University of San Francisco, where he led the Dons to two NCAA titles.

(Associated Press)

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Bill Russell (left) and KC Jones were teammates when USF won two NCAA titles. They had become stars with the Boston Celtics.

Bill Russell (left) and KC Jones were teammates when USF won two NCAA titles. They rose to stardom with the Boston Celtics and won eight NBA titles.

(Robert Houston/Associated Press)

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Celtics rookie Bill Russell watches as coach Red Auerbach spins the ball on his fingertip.

Celtics rookie Bill Russell watches as coach Red Auerbach spins the ball on his fingertip, December 1956.

(J Walter Green / Associated Press)

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Bill Russell keeps coach Red Auerbach in the shower after they defeated the Lakers and won their eighth straight NBA title.

Bill Russell keeps coach Red Auerbach in the shower after they defeated the Lakers 95-93 on April 28, 1966 and won their eighth straight NBA title.

(Associated Press)

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Bill Russell grins during his induction press conference as the new Boston Celtics head coach on April 18, 1966.

Bill Russell grins during his induction press conference as the new Boston Celtics head coach on April 18, 1966.

(Associated Press)

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Lakers center Wilt Chamberlain attempts to score against Celtics center Bill Russell during a 1969 NBA Finals game at The Forum

Lakers center Wilt Chamberlain attempts to score against Celtics center Bill Russell during a 1969 NBA Finals game at The Forum.

(Associated Press)

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Celtics center Bill Russell drives against the Lakers in Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals.

Celtics center Bill Russell drives against the Lakers in Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals.

(Harold P. Matosian/Associated Press)

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Celtics legend Bill Russell looks up to the TD Garden crowd during a tribute in November 2013.

Celtics legend Bill Russell looks up to the crowd at the TD Garden during a tribute in November 2013.

(Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

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Kobe Bryant, right, pays his respects to Bill Russell during the Lakers legend's jersey retirement ceremony in 2017.

Kobe Bryant, right, pays his respects to Bill Russell during the Lakers legend’s jersey retirement ceremony in 2017.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2022-07-31/photos-bill-russell-through-the-years Photos: Bill Russell through the years

Emma Bowman

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