Celtics Host Holiday Party at Practice Facility
WALTHAM, Mass. (Dec. 13, 2010) - Pizza, ice cream, cookies and Celtics welcomed 56 youths from The Home for Little Wanderers Monday afternoon. The adolescences, ranging from six to 18 years old, arrived at the Healthpoint practice facility in Waltham, Mass., and were treated to pizza for lunch.
Following lunch, the group congregated in the Celtics' private practice court and were introduced to the Celtics players. The players were greeted by excited gasps and loud cheers as they came out of the locker room and onto the court.
“It was great to see all the youth,” said team captain Paul Pierce. “This is an event that our whole team looks forward to every year.”
The players, coaches and kids were then divided into three groups as the players led them to three different stations: ice cream sundaes, cookie decoration/board games and basketball games.
The ice cream sundae station gave the youth time to have intimate conversations with the players. Pierce held an impromptu question and answer period in which the questions he fielded ranged from basketball to off-the-court topics. Pierce also asked his own questions to see how much the youth knew about the Celtics. One of his questions was, “What do Jermaine (O’Neal) and I have in common?" After a few guesses, a 12-year-old boy correctly answered that the two share the same birthday!
In the cookie decorating and game room, a heated Connect Four tournament was underway. While teammates were trying to figure out if Rajon Rondo was better at basketball or Connect Four, he continued his undefeated streak at the table. While KG’s group was in the midst of the Connect Four tournament, he summoned Rondo, who was eating ice cream, because he felt strongly that one of the youths could beat the point guard. Rondo's post-event tweet begged to differ: “Jus did this Christmas event with the team. Kids loved it. Also went 36-0 in Connect 4. Who want it??”
Down on the basketball court, the kids played games of PIG and Knock Out with the players as a DJ played music in the background. One of the youngsters ran over and exclaimed, “I beat Ray Allen in PIG!” While there is no documented proof that this occurred, the his face was beaming with happiness!
The holiday party concluded with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, as well as the players and coaches, delivering gifts to the group. Celtics players, coaches and staff generously contributed to the gift fund and as a result, the youth were given gifts that included winter coats, shoes, hats and iPods. They were extremely happy and excited about the gifts they received, and their faces said as much. One particular member of the group said that it was the first time he had ever received Christmas gifts. It can't get more memorable than that.
“Seeing their faces when they got the gifts was great,” remarked Garnett. “This was one of the best holiday parties I’ve been to.”