Illustration by Abigail LeForge.

This week in sports history

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April 18, 1966 – Bill Russell becomes the first African American head coach in NBA history for the Boston Celtics. The hall-of-famer played 13 seasons for the Celtics, and won 11 championships in that time. Russell is one of seven basketball players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship and an Olympic gold medal.

April 20, 1986 – Chicago Bulls shooting guard Michael Jordan set an NBA playoff record with an incredible 63 points. Jordan broke the mark that was previously held by Elgin Baylor who scored 61 points in the 1962 NBA Finals.

April 22, 1954 – The NBA introduced the 24-second shot clock to speed up the game. The number was devised when Syracuse Nationals owner Danny Biasone divided the seconds in a 48-minute game by the the average amount of shots by both teams (120) from games played from the previous three seasons. The game was dull and played at a snail’s pace, with one team opening up a lead and freezing the ball until time ran out. The only thing the trailing team could do was foul. Thus the games became rough, ragged and free-throw shooting contests.

“The adoption of the clock was the most important event in the NBA,” NBA President Maurice Podoloff said.

Legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach called it the single most important rule change in the last 50 years.

April 23, 2000 – American snowboarder Chloe Kim is born in Torrance, California. Kim won gold in dominating fashion for the United States in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea at the age of 17.

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