Celtics Rookies Host Special Olympics Clinic
WALTHAM - Boston Celtics rookies Jared Sullinger and Kris Joseph hosted a skills clinic for 30 Special Olympics of Massachusetts athletes Thursday afternoon. The clinic held at the Celtics practice facility in Waltham had the youth excited from the moment they arrived!
“The Celtics are my favorite team,” exclaimed one youth. “I can’t wait to meet some of the players!”
Upon arrival, the athletes were brought to the Hall of Fame room and provided with an opportunity to take a picture with the 2007-2008 Championship trophy, receiving an 8x10 copy to keep as a memory of the day. The kids were ecstatic receiving the picture of themselves with an important piece of Celtics history!
Once they had taken their pictures, Sullinger and Joseph entered the Hall of Fame room to say a few words to the youth, speaking about their experiences growing up and transitioning to the NBA.
“You all look so excited to be here,” said Sullinger. “Kris and I are excited to be here too! In a little while we will go downstairs to the court and go through some basketball drills. First though, I just want to give you a little background about me. I’m from Ohio and played basketball for Ohio State University. I’m blessed to be here with the Celtics and look forward to learning from my teammates this season.”
“Like Jared said, we are excited to be here,” continued Joseph. “I grew up in Canada and came to the United States to play basketball for Syracuse University. Playing on the NBA level is definitely harder and I’m thankful to have this opportunity. I wake up everyday with the goal of being better than I was the day before and having great teammates helps me a lot!”
After speaking to the kids, the Celtics rookies, along with Coach Kita, led the boys and girls into the gymnasium to sit on the bleachers. Here they were able to take in their surrounding and see the original 17 Championship banners!
The youth were then divided into five groups to work on their basketball skills. Sullinger led the shooting drills, Joseph led the crossover station while Coach Kita led the layup station. Other stations included dribbling and defense. By the time the youth had completed all of the stations, they were a little tired, but smiling from ear-to-ear!
At the end of the clinic, Coach Kita who originally brought the word “UBUNTU” to the Celtics team spoke to the youth about team unity and always working to be a great teammate. Following his words, the athletes received a surprise visit from veterans Chris Wilcox and Jason Terry who, along with the rookies, spoke about what it meant to be playing for Banner 18.
Coaches and supervisors for the Special Olympics expressed their gratitude, as the youth left the building, recapping their great day with their families!