Bill paved the way for African Americans in the National Basketball Association. Although he wasn’t the first black player in the league, he was the first to reach superstar status. He played for the Celtics, winning 11 championships in 13 years. 11 in 13, just think about that for a second. His style of play was also revolutionary, emphasizing rebounding, defense, and fast breaks.
He also served as the player/coach for the Celtics for 3 seasons, making him the first African-American coach in league history. Bill was active in fighting for equal rights in all sports leagues, and promoted basketball to the youth in African American communites around the country. He was also the first NBA player to travel to Africa. In 2010, Obama awarded him with the presidential medal of freedom for his work during the civil rights era, and in 2014 he was awarded the illustrious Black Culture MonthCultural Figure of the Day at TMC. Congrats on both Bill, you earned them.