BOSTON (March 23, 2010) - The Boston Celtics and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) will honor the Wilmington High School Boys and Malden High School Girls Basketball teams with the Sportsmanship Alliance of Massachusetts Award for the 2009-2010 season.
Boston Celtics President Rich Gotham, former Celtics guard Dana Barros and MIAA Deputy Director Bill Gaine will present the award to both teams at halftime of the Celtics game against the Denver Nuggets on March 24.
"Both of these teams set the bar in terms of sportsmanship both on and off the court this past season," Gotham said. "The Celtics organization is proud to support the MIAA in recognizing these exceptional student athletes and continue to support sportsmanship in all levels of sports."
The SAM Basketball Award recognizes the outstanding demonstration of sportsmanship and fair play throughout the 2009-2010 basketball season. The Wilmington and Malden teams were selected as the teams that best represented the elements of sportsmanship in Massachusetts high school basketball through their play and conduct during this past season.
The Wilmington High School Boys Basketball team is being recognized for helping to honor the life of Tewksbury High School girls player Meghan McCarthy, who lost a 3-year battle with an inoperable brain tumor. The Wilmington Boys team gave up a home game to participate in a varsity basketball double-header at Tewksbury High School in remembrance of Meghan. The Wilmington Boys team also wore pink arm bands with Meghan's No. 24 stitched on in her memory. The selfless act of the Wilmington Boys Basketball team transcended a high school competition and made a positive impact on the entire Tewksbury High School community after Meghan's unfortunate passing.
The Malden High School Girls Basketball team exemplified sportsmanship this season through multiple initiatives. The team fully embraced "Pink Out" games to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation by wearing pink warm ups and shoe laces and also providing pink shoe laces for the opposing team. The team is also proud of their manager, Kamisha, who is a Special Olympic Athlete with intellectual and physical disabilities. Kamisha helped the team at all home games and gave an inspirational pre-game talk prior to the "Pink Out" games. Finally, the team volunteered every Saturday morning with Malden Youth Basketball, coaching, refereeing games and doing anything needed to make the league run well. The girls became instructors and role models to these children and made a tremendous difference with Malden youth.