USC star Alex English remembers Bill Russell’s legacy

Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 11:33 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Bill Russell is the greatest winner in American sports history. But, his 11 NBA Finals wins hardly tells the story of the legendary Boston Celtics’ impact. In the wake of his passing, the countless lives Russell changed celebrate his legacy.

There might never be another man in sports like Bill Russell.

“I loved Bill Russell,” Alex English, fellow Basketball Hall of Famer and South Carolina star, said. “He was my icon.”

His stature amongst even the greatest basketball legends is unparalleled.

“I will appreciate and feel honored that I got an opportunity to shake the man’s hand.” English said.

A young Alex English looked up to Russell.

“He not only talked a good game, but he participated in life and participated in change in making change,” Russell said. “And you know, that part of bill Russell is what I admired the most in him.”

Russell played at a time where basketball players were evaluated on the color of their skin and not their skill.

“Growing up in South Carolina I could relate to what he was talking about and what he stood up for and knew the sacrifice that all of them were making just by standing up for equal rights and social justice.” English said.

The 6′10 center was a beacon for change. His civil rights advocacy paved the way for countless athletes.

“He walked, so everybody else could run. And, you know, he walked with dignity and grace,” English said. “He had an impact on the world, not just basketball. He had an impact on all sports, like Jackie Robinson. Not just basketball. To have played the game like he played and stood up for what he stood up for. That’s very big statement, very important statement. And I don’t think basketball or the world would be the same. He’s an iconic figure.”

Bill Russell: a larger than life impact felt forever.

“I’m not really sad,” English said. “I wanna celebrate his life because he had such an impact.”