NEW YORK – January 17, 2014 – SiriusXM announced today that NBA Legend and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Bill Russell will join SiriusXM host and noted NAACP activist Mark Thompson for a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day show honoring Dr. King’s life and legacy as the preeminent leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
The hour-long special, entitled Remembering the Dream, will air Monday, January 20 at 12:00 pm ET on SiriusXM NBA Radio, channel 217, leading into the day’s game broadcasts.
Russell’s career as a NBA player stretched from 1956 to 1969, spanning a watershed period in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and he was a first-person witness to some of the movement’s seminal moments. He was one of the NBA’s first African-American superstars after the color barrier fell in the early 1950s, and he became the league’s first African-American coach when he served as the Boston Celtics’ player/coach after Red Auerbach retired in 1966.
Russell was one of the most prominent public figures to participate in the 1963 March on Washington and was in the front row to watch Dr. King deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech that day. He and Thompson will talk at length about their experiences with the civil rights struggle, their memories of Dr. King and the impact of the civil rights leader’s work from the 1950s through today.
Considered the greatest winner in team sports, Russell was the cornerstone of the Boston Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, a team that won eight straight NBA titles and 11 overall. He was a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a 12-time All-Star but his dedication to team play superseded his many individual accolades. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1974 and is recognized by many as one of the greatest players in the history of the league.
Mark Thompson hosts the political, human rights and breaking news program Make It Plain, heard weekdays at 6:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Progress, channel 127. He is nationally known as a longtime NAACP activist, emcee of the Million Man March, founder of the Umoja Party, and an ordained minister.
For more info on the new SiriusXM NBA Radio channel, visit www.SiriusXM.com/NBA.