Bill Russell, an NBA Hall of Famer who amassed 11 championships with the Boston Celtics, in the course of his career, passed away on Sunday, according to a statement from his family.
The family claimed that Russell, 88, passed away “peacefully” with his wife Jeannine by his side. No specific cause of death was given.
“Bill’s wife, Jeannine, and his many friends and family thank you for keeping Bill in your prayers,” the statement read.
“Perhaps you’ll relive one or two of the golden moments he gave us, or recall his trademark laugh as he delighted in explaining the real story behind how those moments unfolded.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver praised Russell as “the greatest champion in all of team sports” in a statement Sunday.
“I cherished my friendship with Bill and was thrilled when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I often called him basketball’s Babe Ruth for how he transcended time,” he said.
“Bill was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will be felt forever. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Jeannine, his family and his many friends.”