Bill Russell Scholarship Fund

Born in Monroe, Louisiana and raised in Oakland, California, Bill Russell graduated from McClymonds High School in Oakland before attending the University of San Francisco on a basketball scholarship.

Russell is most often remembered for his central role in the Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 championships during the 13 seasons that he played on the team. He is commonly considered the greatest defensive center to have ever played the game.

While his achievements on the court drew national acclaim and led to his receiving of virtually every NBA honor, including a place in the Hall-of-Fame, Russell faced an entirely different battle off the court through much of his life. Growing up in Louisiana, Russell faced a continuous battle against racial harassment, which followed him all the way through college and eventually led to his activism in the American Civil Rights Movement. Throughout the continuous racial attacks, Russell remained strong and determined to ignore the ignorance of others in order to excel at the highest level.

Bill Russell is a winner on and off the court. In honor of his passion, dedication and persistence to succeed against all odds, each year the Summit Bank Foundation will award a four-year Bill Russell Scholarship to a McClymonds High School student who has overcome adversity in their journey for success in education, and strives to achieve greatness in their educational pursuits. The student must be recommended by their school adviser or counselor.

Please email any inquiries about the Bill Russell Scholarship to

Bill Russell Scholarship Recipients

  • 2022 – Jay’Vion Cole
  • 2019 – Nathan Wilson
  • 2018 – Albert Mitchell
  • 2017 – Quaylin Wesley
  • 2016 – Anthony Beron II
  • 2015 – Alexis Hill
  • 2014 – Justin Gilreath
  • 2013 – Lakiriyya Karimusha
  • 2012 – Therica McCord
  • 2011 – Miriam Neal
  • 2010 – Alexandria Bridget
  • 2009 – Lathen Gibbs
  • 2008 – Jamela Little
  • 2007 – Michael Bradley
  • 2006 – Jovonte Young
  • 2005 – Patrice Webb