Campy Russell to be honored on Thursday

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Former U-M All-American Campy Russell will be honored as a Legend of the Game by the University of Michigan men’s basketball team as part of the 2014 Progressive Legends Classic. Russell will be honored at halftime of U-M’s Legends Classic regional game against Detroit on Thursday (Nov. 20) at Crisler Center.

“When coach Beilein invited me back, I knew it was something I could not turn down,” said Russell, who is the Director of Alumni Relations for the Cleveland Cavaliers. “It has always been an honor to represent the block M. I have so many fond memories of my time in Ann Arbor, returning to Crisler Arena is going to be a wonderful experience. I am really looking forward to meeting the team and seeing a game up close.”

“His career at Michigan continues to be one of the all-time best,” said U-M head coachJohn Beilein. “Campy has not only continued to be a friend to the program but he has embodied what it means to be a Michigan Man. We cannot thank him enough.”

A native of Pontiac, Michigan, Russell came to Michigan tabbed as the best prep basketball player in the nation by Basketball News and was selected Michigan High School Player of the Year on two occasions. In his first season (1972-73) in Maize and Blue, Russell broke all U-M freshman scoring and rebounding records as he averaged 18.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.

As a co-captain during the 1973-74 season, Russell led Michigan and the Big Ten in scoring with 23.7 points per game and averaged 11.1 rebounds per outing, en route to be named a consensus All-American. Led by Russell, the Wolverines captured a share of the 1974 Big Ten regular-season title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years, where they advanced to the regional final before losing to eventual champion Marquette, 72-70.

Following a two-year career at Michigan, Russell was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the eighth pick in the 1974 NBA Draft. He spent six seasons with the Cavs (1974-80) and two with the New York Knicks (1980-82) before returning to the Cavs for his final season in 1984. Over his nine-year career, he averaged 15.8 points and 4.8 rebounds and earned a spot in the 1979 NBA All-Star Game.

Russell was recently inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame this summer.

Michigan is hosting Bucknell on Monday (Nov. 17) and Detroit as part of its regional rounds of the Legends Classic. The Wolverines will move on to Brooklyn, New York, Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 24-25) for the championship round at the Barclays Center. U-M will face Oregon on Monday and will play either VCU or Villanova on Tuesday.

Being a Lakers fan, I hated Ced on those 80s Celtics teams

Cool I guess. I’ve never heard of the guy.

Cool I guess. I've never heard of the guy.

Campy Russell? Must be before your time, as he is easily in the top ten M basketball players of all time. Probably in a lot of people’s top five.

Yeah he played a decade before I was born.

Cedric Maxwell. Never did like “Cornbread”, and I still don’t!

Didn’t that Marquette team lose in the championship game to NC State? Thought that was the great David Thompson squad that ended the UCLA run at seven in a row?


Fun Fact: The year Marquette won it all in 1977, Michigan played them in the final game of the season at Crisler and pulled out a 1 point win which vaulted us to #1 in the polls going into the tournament. Michigan went to the the Elite Eight after beating a Dick Vitale Detroit team (back when they had powerhouse teams) where they were upset by UNC Charlotte (who is coincidentally 2-0 against Michigan now thanks to the loss in Puerto Rico last year). Had we beat them we would have gotten a rematch against Marquette playing them twice in the same month.

Also, will be nice to see Campy back in Ann Arbor.