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NBA legend Russell collapses during speech

Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Pro Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell was sent to a hospital Thursday after collapsing during a corporate speaking event near Lake Tahoe.

The Boston Herald said Russell was recovering in his home Thursday night after fainting while attending a function.

The Boston Celtics released a statement saying that the 80-year-old Russell had been conscious and recovering in a local hospital. The newspaper reported later Thursday that Russell flew back to his Seattle home.

According to witness accounts, Russell began to feel faint while making his speech and fell to the floor before being carried out of the Hyatt Regency hotel on a stretcher.

Russell won 11 NBA titles during a 13-year career with the Celtics from 1956-69, serving the final three seasons as a player-coach. The revered former center was selected as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996.

07/18 00:57:42 ET

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