SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Twelve-year-old Luke Boutot from Salem, New Hampshire can tell you all about Bill Russell’s stats as both a player and a coach.
“To celebrate Bill Russell by going to this basketball place in Springfield,” Luke said when he was asked about his plans for visiting the Basketball Hall of Fame Monday.
Russell’s accomplishments are on display inside the Basketball Hall of Fame, with fans taking extra time to recognize the NBA legend who died at 88.
“They would certainly see the legends locker for Bill Russell,” Mark Zeysing, the Chief Curator at the Hall of Fame said. “In addition to that, we have a special exhibit, Secretary of Defense, and we also have an exhibit that focuses on rivalries which a big part of that is his head to head battles with Wilt Chamberlain.”
The museum will continue to celebrate Russell’s life through the month of August. However, fans like Alan Shaddock from Springfield are not just remembering Russell’s accomplishments on the court, but also his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
“He was the first one to just calm the situation down and show, ‘I don’t care what color you are but if you have skills, you have skills.’ And he had skills,” Alan told 22News.
While it’s tough for fans to say goodbye, it comes with a thank you for the mark he left on the sporting world but also history as a whole.
“I feel terrible but we just got to know he did all of that stuff for Boston,” said Luke.