Rondo, Make-a-Wish Foundation Surprise Young Fans
WALTHAM, Mass. – Saturday morning started like any other at the Celtics practice facility. The players and coaching staff arrived, they ate breakfast, and they suited up for a practice to prepare for the reigning NBA champs, the San Antonio Spurs.
The average height in the opening huddle, however, was a little shorter than usual.
Standing at about 4-feet-5 inches tall, two special guests of the captain, Rajon Rondo, joined the team - Ali and Jose. Both young fans are currently fighting their own individual battles against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Together with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Rondo fulfilled the boys’ life-long dream of meeting the guard in person.
To tip-off the day, the two boys and their families joined head coach Brad Stevens for a welcome lunch in the coaches conference room.
“Welcome guys! How is everyone feeling today?” asked Stevens. “We are excited to have you join us today.”
The families scarfed down lunch and waited with great anticipation for the start of practice.
Walking onto the replica parquet floor, the youth were greeted by Celtics alumna and current assistant coach Walter McCarty. The meeting was stopped short as Celtics players filed into the gym one by one.
Fighting to catch his breath, Ali rattled off each guy as they walked in.
“Woah! Bradley, Smart, Turner, Sullinger, Wallace!” he exclaimed.
Both boys’ jaws dropped as Rondo entered the gym and gave a wave.
With a blow of the whistle, practice began and the two sat silently as they soaked in the game plan to take down the dynamic threat from the West.
At the closing of team practice the two had their chance to shine as they joined Rondo on the court for a shootaround.
Next, the guard had a few surprises planned up his sleeves. Rondo unveiled two oversized duffle bags and the two boys unzipped them to see what was inside.
To much surprise, the two found authentic jerseys, game-worn shoes, Celtics gear and tickets to the Sunday afternoon matchup versus the Spurs.
“This is amazing,” exclaimed Jose. “I cannot wait!”
As Rondo signed the gear for Ali and Jose, the two gave a final big thank you and good luck to the point guard.
“Alright y’all, I will see you tomorrow,” the guard reassured. “Let me hear you cheering from those seats!”
To learn how you can help other children’s wishes come true please visit massri.wish.org.
Guard Rajon Rondo met with two boys from Make-A-Wish, showed them around the facility and gave them goodie bags full of Celtics swag.