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The Beginning of a Celtics Legend

Posted By Jessica Camerato On December 21, 2008 @ 11:23 pm In General | 1 Comment

On December 19, 1956, Bill Russell signed his first contract with the Boston Celtics.

On December 19, 2008, I went back to where he made history.

It's impossible to fit Russell's acheivements in just one place [3]

It's impossible to fit Russell's achievements in just one place

In the 1950s Bill Russell transformed the University of San Francisco from a small school in California into a collegiate basketball powerhouse. Russell, and future Celtic teammate K.C. Jones, led the Dons on a 55-game winning streak and back-to-back NCAA Championships in 1955 and 1956, shattering racial barriers along the way.

Despite their success, the men’s basketball team was forced to practice in various high school gyms and played “home games” on random courts in the Bay Area. It wasn’t until two years after Russell left for the NBA that the Dons were granted their own gymnasium on campus.

Today, tucked away in the hills of San Francisco, there is not only a basketball court but a tribute to the man who put USF basketball on the map as one of the most notable collegiate programs in NCAA history. See more pictures of Russell’s legacy at USF after the jump.

Russell and Jones didn't have their own court to play on, but their numbers are retired at USF. [4]

Even though Russell and Jones didn't have their own court to play on, their numbers are retired in the USF gym

Plaques in the main entrance pay tribute to USF greats [5]

Plaques in the main entrance pay tribute to USF greats

Thanks to Russell, there are quite a few banners hanging in the Garden [6]

Thanks to Russell, there are quite a few banners hanging in the Garden as well

There is a case for Jones next to Russell [7]

There is a case for Jones next to Russell ...

... including the 1955 Championship trophy [8]

... including a trophy from 1955

Check out Lucky the Leprechaun on this card [9]

Check out Lucky the Leprechaun on this card

Jones and Russell were All-Americans [10]

Jones and Russell were All-Americans

And part of college basketball history forever [11]

And part of college basketball history forever


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[2]  : #disqus_thread

[3] Image: http://blogs.weei.com/files/2008/12/russellcase.jpg

[4] Image: http://blogs.weei.com/files/2008/12/court.jpg

[5] Image: http://blogs.weei.com/files/2008/12/russellplaque.jpg

[6] Image: http://blogs.weei.com/files/2008/12/russellprogram.jpg

[7] Image: http://blogs.weei.com/files/2008/12/jonescase.jpg

[8] Image: http://blogs.weei.com/files/2008/12/1955trophy.jpg

[9] Image: http://blogs.weei.com/files/2008/12/jonescard.jpg

[10] Image: http://blogs.weei.com/files/2008/12/jonesallamerican.jpg

[11] Image: http://blogs.weei.com/files/2008/12/1955team.jpg

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