Boston Celtics legend John Havlicek passes away at the age of 79

Boston Celtics legend John Havlicek passes away at the age of 79

2015 file photo of Former Boston Celtic John Havlicek as he walks on the court to be honored for the 50 year anniversary of his steal in the 1965 Eastern Conference Championship against the Toronto Raptors. Photo: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

BOSTON, Mass. — John Havlicek, who won eight world championships as a player with the Boston Celtics, has passed away at the age of 79 in Jupiter, Florida.

Havlicek, originally from Bridgeport, Connecticut, played college basketball at Ohio State, winning a national championship in 1960. He was selected by the Celtics in the first round of the 1962 NBA Draft. In 16 seasons, he was named an All-Star 13 times while winning eight titles.

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He was named MVP of the NBA Finals in 1974, when the Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Celtics confirmed Havlicek's passing and issued the following statement:

"John Havlicek is one of the most accomplished players in Boston Celtics history, and the face of many of the franchise’s signature moments. He was a great champion both on the court and in the community, winning 8 NBA championships and an NBA Finals MVP, while holding Celtics career records for points scored and games played.

"Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, he is enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame and his retired #17 hangs in the Garden rafters. His defining traits as a player were his relentless hustle and wholehearted commitment to team over self.

"He was extraordinarily thoughtful and generous, both on a personal level and for those in need, as illustrated by his commitment to raising money for The Genesis Foundation for Children for over three decades through his fishing tournament. John was kind and considerate, humble and gracious. He was a champion in every sense, and as we join his family, friends, and fans in mourning his loss, we are thankful for all the joy and inspiration he brought to us."