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NBA’s Bill Russell collapses during Tahoe speech

NBA’s Bill Russell collapses during Tahoe speech

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell takes part in the "Sports and Race: Leveling the Playing Field" panel during the Civil Rights Summit on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Russell discussed using his platform in basketball to raise awareness for civil rights. Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/Jack Plunkett

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (AP) — Celtics officials say NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell is doing OK after collapsing during a speaking engagement near Lake Tahoe.

Team spokesman Brian Olive says the 80-year-old Russell felt faint after the Thursday morning fall at the Hyatt Regency resort in Incline Village, but was planning on returning home that evening.

Witness Michael Rooney tells The Associated Press that Russell was telling a story about Wilt Chamberlain to a roomful of Konica Minolta employees when he started to sway at the podium and then fell backward.

Rooney says Russell seemed to be conscious as hotel personnel and first responders came to his aid. The meeting was cut short and attendees left.

Russell won 11 championships with the Celtics and is considered one of the best players in NBA history.
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