Before becoming an icon, Bill Russell beat Iowa in the 1956 National Championship

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 10:53 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Before Bill Russell won 11 NBA championships and became one of America’s most important athletes, he faced the “Fabulous Five” of Iowa.

The 1955-1956 Iowa Hawkeyes made the program’s first and only national title game. The Hawkeyes, led by head coach Frank “Bucky” O’Connor, lost to Russell’s San Francisco Dons 83-71.

The game took place at McGaw Hall in Evanston, Illinois, on the campus of Northwestern University.

A month later, Russell was selected with the second overall pick of the NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks, he was quickly traded to the Boston Celtics.

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