Former NBA All-Star and champion Willie Naulls died at age 84.

He died of respiratory failure caused by a rare immunological condition called Churg-Strauss syndrome, his wife told the New York Times.

Naulls played in the NBA from 1956 to 1966. He won three titles with the Boston Celtics from 1964 to 1966 and was an All-Star with the New York Knicks in 1958 and from 1960 to 1962.

Naulls, a power forward and center, had also been a second-team All-American while at UCLA in 1956, playing under future Hall of Fame coach John Wooden.

When his Knicks teammates named him team captain in the 1960s, he was the first black athlete to be a captain with any major professional sports team.



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