Cazzie Lee Russell (born June 7, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois).


Before Russell became the player that spawned the building of Crisler Arena — known in Ann Arbor as “The House that Cazzie Built” — he was a special player who, along with his highly-regarded teammates, turned a moribund Michigan basketball program at a football school into a basketball power.

Michigan’s athletic program decided to break ground on Crisler Arena in 1965, which holds over twice as many fans as Yost Field House. It opened two seasons after Russell finished his career at Michigan. The Arena is unofficially referred to by Wolverine fans as “The House That Cazzie Built.”