Celtics players shot PRIDE off the court at school assembly

BOSTON - Their moves on the court are inspiring to some, but their motivating words to stay in school can inspire all. Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen, forward Marcus Landry and guard Nate Robinson recognized the efforts of several high-achieving students at Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School in Dorchester, MA on Friday, Feb. 26. The Boston Celtics Stay in School assemblies encourage students to take pride in their school work as well as motivate them to stay in school.

Before the Celtics players took the spotlight on stage, they held a small basketball clinic in the school's gymnasium as another way to give back to the community. They showed the young athletes several practice drills that will help them improve their game on the court, as well as emphasize the necessity to practice hard every day to achieve their dreams.

"Start off practicing every day to become better in everything that you do," said forward Marcus Landry. "Start practicing in the classroom and then take it on the court. Practice makes perfect."

The players conveyed a special message to an energized crowd of about 250 middle school students, encompassing the program's acronym PRIDE as the main points of each player's speech.

Allen spoke about perseverance and decisions, while Landry gave students a personal account of his struggles in high school to keep his grades up, stressing the importance of education. Robinson had the crowd laughing when he spoke about the importance of respect.

"To see the smile on the kids' faces is priceless," said guard Nate Robinson

The Celtics and the Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 secondary school recognized six MVP students for their outstanding efforts to be on the honor roll, work hard in school and make good decisions. They were presented with an autographed basketball in front of their peers and teachers.

"The most important thing that students have to face is decisions," said guard Ray Allen. "Students have to stay focused and make decisions on their own, they have to push hard for the answers and never give up on their dreams."

Throughout the academic year, Celtics players will visit several local schools to help motivate students to work hard and to stay in school. Top students will be honored for their academic achievements and perfect attendance.

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