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NBA legend Bill Russell says he could have made the Olympics as a high jumper

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 19: Former NBA players Bill Russell (L) and Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. react as they are honored during the 2017 NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center on February 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

NBA legend Bill Russell has opened up on his exploits as a high jumper, insisting he was one of the best in the US.

The 86-year-old made his name as a professional basketball player, having won the NBA Most Valuable Player five times.

He was also a key member of the Celtics dynasty that won eleven NBA championships, adding to his impressive record as a 12-time All-star.

Russell has now opened up on how good he was as a high jumper when the mid-1950s.

The American said he stood the chance of competing at the Olympics in 1956 but turned it down to play basketball.

This, he explained, was due to the fact that one could not participate in two sports at the Olympics during that time.

In a reply on Twitter, Russell said he was so good that he was once ranked at no.2 high jumper in the US.

“In 56 I could have made the Olympics in high jump but turned it down to play basketball instead we could only play one sport then,” he wrote.

“Track and Field News ranked me #7 high jumper in the world, I was ranked #2 in the US at the time.”

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