Celtics Perform Play With Third-Graders

ROXBURY, Mass. – Celtics players Jeff Green and Jason Terry arrived on Tuesday morning at the Suffolk Construction Training Center, where they performed a play with 20 third-graders from Mason Pilot Elementary School. The Read to Achieve play, presented by Kia Motors, is one of the Celtics most memorable events to take part in each year. This year was no exception as the students participated in the play “I Like Myself” by Karen Beaumont.

For three weeks leading up to the play, the students diligently practiced so they would be experts by the time the players arrived on the day of the play. When Green and Terry arrived, the students were in the midst of final preparations and paused during the middle of rehearsal as they stood in astonishment of the players’ presence.

After regaining their focus, the students became teachers as they assisted the players with their lines and the overall flow of the play. Students unselfishly gave up their lines in the play in order for the players to participate.

The lines given to Green required him to wear a large, goofy and pink hat throughout the length of the play while Terry had multiple wardrobe changes. Terry was dressed as a tiger, cuckoo bird and a creature with spikes down his spine.

After running through the play twice, the players felt they were schooled well enough by the students to perform in front of the school’s third- through fifth-grade classes. The performers acted out a flawless play and generated plenty of laughs from the audience. The group received a loud applause at the end of the play.

Following the conclusion of the play, the actors sat down with the audience as Green and Terry began to discuss the importance of reading and its effects on their lives.

Terry said, “Reading is very fundamental. It’s kind of like jump shots. The more you read the better you get at it and the more you can learn. The more jump shots you shoot, the better you get at them.”

Green expressed how he used his year off from basketball, due to heart surgery, to go back to school.

“I went back to Georgetown University and last May I graduated earning my college education which is important to myself, my family and my friends,” he said. “It was a big accomplishment in my life – probably the biggest – bigger than being drafted (into the NBA).”

Green emphasized how education is something unique that will last forever.

“No one can take your education away from you,” said Green. “Basketball can only last for so long but your education lasts forever. Graduating from college opened the door for so many different things in my life.”

Green also spoke about how the pressure in the play seemed higher than playing in a basketball game.

“This play, it was a lot of pressure,” he said. “If I didn’t have enough energy they let me know. If I jumped too high they let me know. If I messed up they sure let me know. However, I had a lot of fun with everyone today and I loved being a part of this play.”

Before leaving the school the players discussed with the students the best advice they had ever received.

“In 10th grade Mr. Benjamin told me don’t rely on basketball,” said Green. “People can take material things from you such as your car and house, yet one thing people can never take from your is your education.”

Terry explained, “The road to success is always under construction. That means when you’re working toward goals in life you must keep building every day by doing something productive to get to where you want to go. Once you get to the place you want to go there’s still another place to go.”

As the players began to file out of the building, the actors received one last high-five from the audience. The fans waved with joy while wishing the Celtics the best of luck for the remainder of their season.

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