Willie Naulls

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Basketball Player
Date of Birth October 7, 1934
Place of Birth Texas
Date of Death Nov 22, 2018 (84)
Horoscope Libra

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Willie Naulls

William Dean Naulls was an American professional basketball player for 10 years in the National Basketball Association. He was a four-time NBA All-Star with the New York Knicks and won three NBA championships with the Boston Celtics. Naulls grew up in California, where he was named the state's Mr. Basketball in high school. He played college basketball with the UCLA Bruins, and earned All-American honors as a senior in 1956. Naulls was selected by the St. Louis Hawks with the ninth overall pick of the 1956 NBA draft. He played briefly with St. Louis before being traded to New York, where he spent most of his career. With the Knicks, he became the first African American to be named a captain of a professional team in a major American sport. After a brief stint with the San Francisco Warriors, Naulls finished his career with Boston. In December 1964, he was part of a Celtics unit that became the first all-black starting lineup in NBA history.

Born: October 07, 1934, Dallas, Texas
Died: November 22, 2018, Laguna Niguel, California
Nationality: American
Listed height: 6 ft 6 in
Listed weight: 225 lb
High school: San Pedro (San Pedro, California)
College: UCLA (1953–1956)
Position: Small forward
NBA draft: 1956 / Round: 2 / Pick: 9, St. Louis Hawks
Number: 33, 6, 71, 12

About Willie Naulls

Former NBA player who won three NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics.

Before Fame

He received the title of California Mr. Basketball while playing at San Pedro High School in 1952.


He was the first African-American player to be named captain of a professional sports team.

Family Life

He married a gynecologist named Anne Van de Water, with whom he had four children.


He won three NBA Championships during the Bill Russell dynasty era in Boston.

Information related to Willie Naulls

  • Race and ethnicity in the NBA - The composition of race and ethnicity in the National Basketball Association has changed throughout the league's history. The first non-white player to enter the league was Wataru Misaka in 1947.
  • San Francisco Warriors players
  • St. Louis Hawks draft picks
  • St. Louis Hawks players
  • UCLA Bruins men's basketball players
  • National Basketball Association All-Stars
  • Boston Celtics players
  • New York Knicks players
  • Basketball players from Texas
  • Sportspeople from Dallas
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Latest information about Willie Naulls updated on November 28, 2020.

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