Bradley, Maxwell Deliver New Home Courts
BOSTON – For the eighth year in a row, the Boston Celtics and RE/MAX of New England teamed up to give three lucky families their own home court makeover. The 2013 RE/MAX Home Court Program received more than 200 entries. This year’s winners, although their stories are drastically different, all demonstrated remarkable courage while battling some tremendous adversity.
Each winning family was awarded its own half-court basketball court, as well as a bedroom makeover for one member of the family. In addition, the families were visited by Celtics guard Avery Bradley and Celtics Legend Cedric Maxwell, who assisted in running a clinic for friends, classmates, and family.
The Barker-Jobin Family of Barrington, N.H. has overcome significant obstacles related to their son Caleb’s health. During mother Amanda’s pregnancy with Caleb, her and her husband, Brian, were given the devastating news that their newborn had a rare and fatal heart condition. Doctors told the couple that their unborn child had a slim chance of survival, and would not live long even if he survived childbirth.
Remarkably, Caleb lived and after undergoing three open-heart surgeries, he was able to return home with his parents. Thankfully, Caleb has grown up to be a healthy, energetic young man, and has done so in part due to the support of his older sister, Abigail, and younger brother, Benjamin. To honor all of the children, the Celtics and RE/MAX decorated the family’s playroom instead of a single bedroom.
The second winning family was the Ricci family, of Providence, R.I. Tammy Ricci, the mother, wrote in her entrance essay, “We are desperately hoping that by winning the RE/MAX Home Court contest, KJ’s dream could come true: he could have a Celtics court of his own to play on when he is done with treatment.”
Since birth, KJ has undergone many major surgical procedures dealing with a rare disease that causes rapid and random bone growth throughout his body. While that would be hard enough on most families, KJ was also diagnosed with autism at 18 months and was recently diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of Leukemia. In total, he has spent more than 250 days in Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
KJ, however, does not let this stop him from watching the Celtics and his favorite player, Avery Bradley. KJ handled Bradley’s introduction to the attending family and media members, and was speechless when Bradley presented him with his own “Ricci” and “Bradley” Celtics jerseys.
The final Home Court family of the year was the Young family of Merrimack, Mass. Father Jim Young lost his arms in a tragic electrocution incident three years ago and has since relied on his wife, Karen, his daughter, Hilary, and especially his son, Griffin.
Griffin has assumed the role of man of the house, taking charge of many of the household duties while still being an 11-year-old boy. Jim surprised his family by entering them into the contest, concluding his essay by saying, “I believe [Griffin] exemplifies what it means to be a new generation of Celtics fans.”
An avid sports fan and memorabilia collector, Griffin was thrilled by his new bedroom and court makeover, not to mention the many autographs from Maxwell and Bradley. The family was also treated with a Lucky dunk show before the home unveiling, and a basketball clinic with Griffin’s classmates afterward.
The stories of these families are what continue to inspire both Maxwell and Bradley to continue participating year after year. As Bradley put it, “It’s an amazing program. I love doing it, I love meeting the families. It’s the highlight of my day. The stories are amazing. That’s what attracts me to this. It makes me want to do it every year. I’m hoping I can stay on the Celtics so I can come back every year.”