TSA Arrests 79-Year-Old Bill Russell for Carrying Gun at Airport

October 19, 2013 - 1:35 AM

President Barack Obama and Bill Russell

President Barack Obama gives the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Hall of Fame center Bill Russell on Feb. 15, 2011. (AP Photo)

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Hall of Fame center Bill Russell was arrested this week at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after Transportation Security Administration officials found a loaded gun in his luggage.

Russell was arrested Wednesday night as he attempted to go through security. Airport spokesman Perry Cooper confirmed Friday night that Russell was cited for having a weapon in a prohibited area. Russell's gun was confiscated and he was released.

Russell's gun was a .38-caliber pistol and was loaded with six rounds, according to a TSA spokesman. He was turned over to Port of Seattle police and there were no disruptions at the airport.

The 79-year-old Russell has lived in the Seattle area for decades. He was an 11-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and coached the Seattle SuperSonics from 1973-77.