Boston Celtics great Bill Russell and former US Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith are among those with Massachusetts ties who are to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Governor Deval Patrick is expected to fly to Washington today to attend the White House ceremony. Harvard graduate and famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma is also among the 15 recipients of this year’s award. Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 championships in 13 years and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times. He was also the first black NBA coach. Smith served as ambassador to Ireland from 1993 to 1998 and is the youngest daughter of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. (AP)
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