The legendary basketball center is the subject of a pedestrian entry in the ""Black Americans of Achievement"" series. Flashing back from Russell's 1968 NBA Playoff win as player-coach of the Boston Celtics, Shapiro covers his persistent effort to improve mediocre basketball skills--which paid off with a college scholarship; his rise as a defensive player at the University of San Francisco and in the Olympics; and his triumphant professional career. He concludes with a brief description of Russell's varied endeavors since retirement. Throughout, Shapiro concentrates on detailed, often pedantic descriptions of Russell's play, revealing little of his personal life or beliefs. For dedicated sports buffs only. Career statistics; chronology; bibliography; index.