Yesterday, Frank Ramsey passed away at the age of 86. The Madisonville native was an integral part of Kentucky’s 1951 national championship squad and won seven NBA titles with the Boston Celtics, making a name for himself as the original “Sixth Man.”
As Jack Pilgrim wrote yesterday, Ramsey was a beloved figure both on and off the court, and the tributes have been pouring over the last 24 hours. Here are just a few, starting with his Celtics teammate Bill Russell:
I am in shock & deeply saddened to hear of my long time friend & teammate #FrankRamsey passing I had the great pleasure to speak with him often. He won 7 @NBA & 1 @NCAA title & was the 1st true 6th man. He was a great man & father. I will miss him! @celtics @KentuckyMBB @espn pic.twitter.com/X166yw76PD
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) July 8, 2018
As a seven-time NBA Champion and the original “Sixth Man,” Frank Ramsey helped create a legacy of excellence and selflessness that carried through generations, and remains part of the Boston Celtics ethos to this day. A true gentleman known for his elegance and thoughtfulness, he remained a loyal and active member of the Celtics family throughout his days. We join those celebrating his life and mourning his passing.
SportsCenter anchor Michael Eaves:
I can still picture his house at the end of the driving range of Madisonville CC and the full-length outdoor court along side. If you got invited to play at Frank Ramsey's house, it was a huge deal. To play on his court with him watching courtside was a real honor.
— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) July 8, 2018
“The Basketball Hall of Fame family mourns the loss and celebrates the life of seven-time NBA champion Frank Ramsey. Frank was an outstanding player who accepted and celebrated the important role of sixth man, the first player off the bench on a championship winning team comprised of many star athletes. He truly embodied a team first mentality.”
Real Men In Real Time: Clint Eastwood, Bob Cousy, Tommy Heinsohn & UK’s Frank Ramsey. These guys fought you to the bitter end. All big-time winners & big-time heroes. Boston won 9 titles in 10-year stretch. Try matching that @warriors. @KentuckyMBB @celtics @NBATV @NCAA @nbastats pic.twitter.com/8RXvi40Kws
— Oscar Combs (@wildcatnews) July 8, 2018
Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart:
“Frank Ramsey was a true champion and a true Wildcat. He was one of the best players our program and our state have ever seen and further cemented his legend as a professional. We offer our deepest condolences to Frank’s family and friends.”
“He was instant activity. He could score, play excellent defense and was a good rebounder for his size. He was truly an all-purpose player.”
“He might as well have been the mayor of Madisonville, Kentucky. He was president of the bank. He owned a general store. I said to him, ‘Rams, you’ve got more money than Trump. Why don’t you retire?’ He told me, ‘No. I love this. I’m not on meds, I feel great. I want to keep going.’ That’s why I’m so sad and surprised to hear [of his passing].”
For more on Ramsey’s incredible life and career, revisit Jack’s post from yesterday: