Former Celtic legend Russell taken to hospital

AFP
Bill Russell, shown February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been hospitalized after collapsing during a corporate speaking event at a resort town on the shores of Lake Tahoe
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Bill Russell, shown February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been hospitalized after collapsing during a corporate speaking event at a resort town on the shores of Lake Tahoe (AFP Photo/Ronald Martinez)

Incline Village (United States) (AFP) - NBA Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell was hospitalized Thursday after collapsing during a corporate speaking event at a resort town on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

The Boston Celtics released a statement saying that the 80-year-old Russell is conscious and recovering in a Nevada hospital, and is hopeful that he will be able to fly back to his Seattle-area home Thursday.

According to witnesses, 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 was arrested nine months ago after airport officials in Seattle found him trying to board a flight with a loaded hand gun in his carry-on luggage.

Russell later apologized saying he accidently left the .38-calibre Smith & Wesson in his bag.

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

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