Day 18 - Bill Russell.

Former center for the Boston Celtics, Bill Russell is considered one of the best players in NBA history and one of the greatest winners in all of sport. He is a five time NBA MVP and a 12-time All-Star. Russell played 13 seasons, winning 11 championships with the Celtics. He also won two NCAA championships with the University of San Fransisco. He also won a gold medal as a member of the 1956 Summer Olympic team. Russell was the first African American player to achieve superstar status in the NBA. He also served a three-season stint as player-coach for the Celtics from 1966-1969, becoming the first African American NBA coach.

As a civil rights activist, Russell struggled for a number of years with a racist Boston fan base. That would not deter his efforts nationally though. He remained an influential figure in the fight for cilvil rights. He was known for a very vocal approach when it came to advocacy for desegregation and equal opportunity for all. Russell's difficult relationship with Boston lead him to not show up for the retirement of his number 6 by the Celtics and his induction into the Basketball Hall-of-Fame.

The relationship has softened more recently with Russell making more public appearances in Boston. On November 1, 2013, Boston and the Celtics organization unveiled a statue honoring Russell in City Hall Plaza. The statue represents not only his greatness as a Celtic, but also as a man and leader in the fight for equality.

And THAT is Junior's Black History Month Fact Of The Day!