Sullinger Hosts Clinic at Lighthouse School
NORTH CHELMSFORD, Mass. – Boston Celtics Forward Jared Sullinger hosted a basketball clinic Thursday afternoon for 28 lucky students at the Lighthouse School in North Chelmsford, Mass.
The clinic was a reward for the clothing drive that Sullinger hosted in January. The drive brought more than 290 donors together from the New England area, resulting in 5.8 tons of donated clothing. Sullinger promised a youth basketball clinic and tickets to a game for the person who donated the most clothing. Lindsay Gray was the winner after bringing in 574 pounds of clothing.
Gray, a member of the staff at the Lighthouse School, surprised her students on Wednesday afternoon with the news that Sullinger would be coming. The students walked into the gym on Thursday in a sea of green Celtic jerseys, eager to meet the player. The gym, decorated with shamrocks and a sign recognizing their clothing drive triumph and thanking Sullinger, is home to a hard-working basketball team made up of players of all ages from the Lighthouse School.
The Lighthouse school provides an educational and nurturing environment for children with diverse needs and disabilities. The non-profit corporation focuses on promoting total life development for its students through comprehensive educational services. It provides a motivational facility with a positive and supportive culture that allows its students to grow to be their best.
The students were definitely their best Thursday afternoon as they listened to Sullinger’s directions and improved their basketball skills in a matter of minutes. The students participated in passing drills, as well as team-building exercises that promoted the importance of support and communication with teammates. The clinic concluded with a game of knockout that had even Sullinger breaking a sweat.
It was close, but the rookie won, telling the kids, “Good effort guys, but I do this for a living!”
Each student left the gym with a big smile, a T-shirt and a signed picture of Sullinger. As he was signing the pictures, Sullinger talked to the kids about the importance of school, practicing good behavior in the classroom and how that relates to sports and pursuing what you love.
“When I was younger I didn’t always make the best decisions,” he said. “When I wasn’t allowed to play in the state tournament because of my behavior, I knew I needed to make better decisions. I learned that I had to get right in the classroom before I could do what I love and play basketball. I learned that I couldn’t support my teammates if I couldn’t play and that was really important to me. I started to put school and my behavior first and now I am able to do what I love and play for the Celtics.”