Bill Russell will receive one of sports’ highest honors largely for the work he has done far from the basketball court.
The Boston Celtics legend announced Thursday via Twitter he’ll receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on July 10 at the 2019 ESPYs.
“Just found out I will be receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award,” Russell wrote. “Arthur was a man of great courage. Tune in July 10, this is a special honor!”
Arthur Ashe Courage Award recipients “reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost,” according to ESPN.
Russell is the first athlete who played for a Boston sports team to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Although many remember him for helping the Celtics win 11 NBA championships during his 13 seasons with the team, his philanthropic work, outspokenness on social issues and participation in the Civil Rights movement are among the deeds through which he transcended sports and impacted the world beyond the field of play.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images