(USA TODAY Sports) — The winningest player in NBA history can add another accolade to add to his list.
Bill Russell — an 11-time champion, five-time MVP, Olympic gold medalist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient — will receive the NBA's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural NBA Awards show later this month, the league announced Thursday.
Russell, considered the greatest player in Boston Celtics history by many, has been one of the league's most prominent figures, both on and off the court, since he was drafted in 1956.
In addition to his unprecedented 11 championships in 13 seasons, Russell was a 12-time All-Star and one of two players in league history to grab 50 or more rebounds in a single game. He also won back-to-back NCAA titles at the University of San Francisco, where he led the Dons to 56 consecutive wins.
Russell, revered as one of the greatest human rights leaders in professional sports history, became the first African-American head coach in the NBA, leading the Celtics to two championships as a player-coach in his final three seasons. In 1975, he became the first African-American NBA player to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The NBA Awards show — which will air live from New York's Basketball City on June 26 on TNT at 9 p.m. ET — will also unveil dozens of other award winners, including the 2016-17 MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.
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