Pro Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell was hospitalized Thursday after collapsing during a corporate speaking event near Lake Tahoe.
The Boston Celtics released a statement saying that the 80-year-old Russell is conscious and recovering in a local hospital, and is hopeful that he will be able to fly back to his Seattle-area home Thursday night.
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.