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Boston Celtics’ Bill Russell

Back in Boston in the mid-1960s, Bill Russell was the star basketball center for the world-champion Celtics. It was fun watching him and his team play at the Boston Garden. He dominated the boards, and with effortless ease, he seemed to take charge of the whole court once the game got underway. The whole team revolved around his larger-than-life presence. Sports fans watch him from a distance, respecting his command of the sport. Then, in a radio interview, I heard a comment from Russell that immediately made me feel closer to him, though I have never met the man. The sports reporter asked the all-pro basketball star if he ever got nervous. Russell’s answer was surprising. He said, in his inimitable style of blunt honesty, “Before every game, I vomit.” Shocked, the sportscaster asked what he did if they played two games the same day. Unflappable Russell replied, “I vomit twice.”

C. Swindoll, The Grace Awakening, Word, 1990, p. 203