William Russell is an American retired professional basketball player. Russell played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969.
A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty, winning eleven NBA championships during his thirteen-year career. Russell holds the record for the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league (tied with Henri Richard of the National Hockey League).
Before his professional career, Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA championships (1955, 1956), and he captained the gold-medal winning U.S. national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics.