CommUNITY Crew Event - InnerCity Weightlifting

WALTHAM, Mass. (November 9, 2011) – Sometimes it takes the act of just one person or one organization to change the life of a young man or woman. Jon Feinman realized that fact two years ago when he founded InnerCity Weightlifting (ICW).

Feinman's ICW organization works with young people who are victims of violence, have been affiliated with gangs or have gotten into trouble with the law. Through the sport of Olympic lifting, ICW strives to empower youth by giving them the confidence to make the right choices and avoid violence.

CommUNITY Crew

Celtics Strength and Conditioning Coach Bryan Doo teaches new exercises to members of the InnerCity Weightlifting program.

Membership has since increased from four students to more than 200 and the program has changed those people’s lives for the better. In an effort to continue ICW’s success, Celtics assistant coaches Armond Hill and Tyronn Lue, Strength and Conditioning Coach Bryan Doo, and other members of the Celtics CommUNITY Crew, in partnership with Arbella, hosted 12 students from ICW Wednesday afternoon at the Celtics' practice facility in Waltham, Mass.

Once the students were seated in the gym, former Northeastern track star and guest speaker Antonio “Pops” Arrendel addressed the group. His message was clear and to the point in that everyone has a story and struggles, but that such tribulations shouldn’t define one’s future.

“I had a walking disorder growing up,” remarked Arrendel. “No one thought I would ever be able to run but I proved them wrong. Then, as a teenager I was mixed up with the wrong crowd and ended up getting shot one night in my leg. The odds were once again against me but I realized I needed to get on the right path and focus on running. Because of my decisions then, I was able to run in college. Don’t be afraid to make the right decisions and be there for your friends. Guide them as well. It’s ok to tell them they’re doing the wrong thing. Step up and be a leader.”

Arrendel’s words rang loud and clear in the gym. Standing in front of the ICW students was a man who had a similar background and had overcome many obstacles to succeed in life.

Once the students heard from Arrendel, Hill took them on a tour of the facility before heading to the weight room, where Doo showed the group some workout techniques he uses to get the Celtics healthier, stronger and faster. The students are becoming masters at Olympic lifting, but learned a few new techniques and exercises from Doo.

Following their time in the weight room, the students shot around on the practice court and tried to beat Hill and Lue in a game of knockout. What the guys didn’t anticipate was that both coaches still had great shooting touch and competitive juices.

Hill and Lue spoke to the students as the event drew to a close and reiterated the message from Arrendel earlier in the day.

“Life is what you make of it,” said Hill. “People always ask me why I went to Princeton and I tell them it was because I initially got rejected from them. After that, I was determined to go there. No one should ever tell you that you can’t do something. You can do anything you set your mind to.”

Lue added, “Everyone used to say that I was too short to play basketball. They never thought I would make it. Eleven years in the NBA and two championships later, I’m here to tell you that anything is possible. Succeeding doesn’t have to mean that you were able to play a professional sport. It could be anything from completing college to being a great parent. If you can look back one day and be proud of your accomplishments, then you’ve succeeded.”

Those words are the inspirational mantra of InnerCity Weightlifting. The program gives youth an outlook to succeed in life, and that’s the best gift anyone could ask for.

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