Five Facts: Rondo, Wallace, Thornton, Smart, Olynyk
As a die-hard Celtics fan, you know quite a bit about our players. You know that Rajon Rondo is a four-time All-Star. You know that Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk were Rising Stars last year. But what about the information you don’t know?
We’ve dug into the roster and pulled five little-known facts about nearly the entire team, including Brad Stevens. We’ll highlight those facts during this series, which continues today with information on Rondo, Gerald Wallace, Marcus Thornton, Marcus Smart and Olynyk. Their facts are below.
Rondo is a four-time All-Star who has spent his entire eight-year career with the Celtics. Here are his five fun facts:
- Favorites – Pregame meal: grilled chicken... car: Lamborghini... movie: Cinderella Man... NBA player during youth: Isiah Thomas... actor: Will Smith.
- Played quarterback in high school before concentrating solely on basketball.
- Recorded his career high in defensive rebounds (13), rebounds (17), and assists (24) all against the division rival New York Knicks.
- Has packed on approximately 20 pounds of muscle since his freshman year at Kentucky.
- Claims to be unbeatable at Connect 4.
Wallace just completed his first season with the Celtics and his 13th overall in the NBA in 2013-14. Here are his five fun facts:
- Has two community parks dedicated in his name in his high school city of Childersburg, Ala.
- Averaged 28.7 points per game, 13.8 rebounds per game and 3.2 steals per game as a high school senior en route to earning the 2000 Naismith and USA Today National High School Player of the Year honors.
- Finished second in the 2002 Slam Dunk Contest to Jason Richardson, a two-time champ. Here are a few highlights of his dunks.
- Became just the third player in NBA history, along with David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon, to average at least 2.0 steals per game and at least 2.0 blocks per game in the same season.
- Took 75 children displaced by Hurricane Sandy shopping for their favorite gifts.
The Celtics acquired Thornton on July 10. He averaged 21.3 points per game during the 2010-11 season. Here are his five fun facts:
- Once handed out $100 gift certificates to students who had perfect attendance at Drew Elementary School in New Orleans.
- Has two favorite movies: “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” and “The Wood”.
- Favorite comfort food is macaroni and cheese.
- Scored a career-high 42 points against the Pacers on Jan. 24 of last season.
- Is one of two Celtics, along with Brandon Bass, who were born and raised in Baton Rouge, La., and then went to LSU.
Smart was drafted sixth overall by the Celtics and just completed a week-long training camp with USA basketball in Las Vegas. Here are his five fun facts:
- Enjoys playing tennis during his spare time.
- Was a football player growing up but stopped playing when he hit sixth grade.
- Stepped in to take 43 charges during his senior year of high school.
- Set a new Team USA U18 record for steals over a five-game period when he grabbed 18 during the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Brazil. Andre Iguodala had held the previous record for a decade.
- Smart holds the freshman steals record in the Big 12 after grabbing 99 of them in 2012-13.
Olynyk is entering his second season with the Celtics and was an NBA Rising Star during his rookie campaign. Here are his five fun facts:
- Played quarterback in high school and suffered a broken arm during a 2007 playoff game.
- Graduated from Gonzaga with a 3.53 GPA.
- Played for Canada during the 2010 FIBA World Championships when he was just 19 years old.
- His mother, Arlene, was the scorekeeper for the Toronto Raptors for a decade, while his father, Ken, was the head basketball coach at the University of Toronto for 13 years.
- Redshirted his junior season at Gonzaga, in 2011-12, to strengthen his body and work on his game.