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Sullinger, Celtics urge Jamaica Plain students to stay in school

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 27, 2013 03:58 PM
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The Celtics took their mission of delivering the stay-in-school message to Jamaica Plain on Wednesday morning, where injured forward Jared Sullinger joined ex-players Keyon Dooling and Dana Barros for a special assembly that encouraged students at the BTU Pilot K-8 School to take pride in their classroom work.

In addition to honoring high-achieving students, the players conducted a mini basketball clinic built around the idea of P.R.I.D.E. -- Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Decisions, Education -- and left tickets to an upcoming home game. It's the latest stop in the 22nd year of the the team's Stay in School program, which is presented by Arbella Insurance and is a collaboration of efforts from the Celtics, the New England Sports Museum, the Northeastern University Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and the Boston Public Schools.

(Photos courtesy of Regan Communications)

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Rob Gronkowski replaced by Ed Reed as red carpet correspondent at Oscars

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 22, 2013 03:14 PM

Those looking forward to seeing what havoc Rob Gronkowski could wreak on the red carpet at the Oscars will apparently have to wait.

No explanation was publicly given for the switch from Gronkowski to Reed, though the change does seem sudden. As recently as Wednesday, the same NFL Media PR Twitter account was teasing the NFL Network show on which Gronkowski's interviews were scheduled to appear, while that same day (as well as the day before) the Rich Eisen Podcast was excitedly tweeting about the participation of the Patriots tight end.

We can only assume the Academy suddenly changed its dress-code policy on Zubaz pants. Or somebody -- maybe the Patriots, maybe the NFL, maybe the show -- decided Gronk wasn't right for the gig.

Either way, there's a portion of Patriots fans who are hoping this turns out to be a case where a future Patriot simply stepped in for a current one.

tags Patriots

Roberts' feet, Wakefield's knuckles to join Fenway's commemorative brick collection

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 22, 2013 07:08 AM

Fenway Park, the self-proclaimed league leader in bronze plaques and commemorative displays, is adding a few more exhibits to its living museum in time for the new season. They'll be added to the commemorative bricks the Red Sox were hawking a couple of years ago, near Gates B and C -- except this time instead of asking fans to pay for the chance to personalize them, they're turning to some former players and memorializing their more famous features.

Dave Roberts had his legendary feet cast last week, when sculptor Douglas Borkman of the Rhode Island School of Design visited Padres camp to collect footprints of the vehicles Roberts used to swipe the most celebrated stolen base in Boston history. They were set in a 19-inch square paver, according to the Padres website, which says that Roberts is just one of a number of former Sox who'll have body parts captured.

Tim Wakefield's paver will be a print of his hand in a knuckleball grip, joining Jerry Remy, Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice, Jason Varitek, Carl Yastrzemski, and even Wally the Green Monster among those honored. (As reader djmarty2002 points out, some of the handprints were on display last season.)

"To be paired with a lot of the Red Sox greats … it's great," Roberts, now the Padres' first base coach, told padres.com. "To get my feet cast and molded and having a place at Fenway Park is pretty special to me."

He'll get a chance to see his feet for himself when San Diego visits in June. Sox fans needn't wait that long, though. They can "enjoy them at (their) leisure early, well before the escalation of excitement as game time approaches," as soon as Opening Day.

tags Red Sox

New Celtic Jordan Crawford dunked on LeBron James -- and Nike didn't like it

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 21, 2013 02:20 PM

The Celtics acquired Jordan Crawford in exchange for Leandro Barbosa's expiring contract on Thursday afternoon -- and if that name sounds familiar to Boston hoop fans, it's not only because he was averaging 13.2 points per game this season with the Wizards.

It's because of this:

Fast forward to about the 32-second mark and you'll see Crawford -- then at Xavier -- throwing down a two-handed dunk over none other than LeBron James. The slam came during a pickup game at the NBA MVP's LeBron James Skills Academy in 2009, and camp sponsor Nike was so worried about fallout from the facial that, according to SI.com, "Nike officials confiscated the footage of two videographers working the camp because they claimed the videotaping of after-hours pickup games was not allowed."

Of course, they were probably much more concerned about the potential embarrassment of the world seeing their King get posterized by someone who was just a college kid at the time -- an embarrassment Celtics fans certainly wouldn't mind seeing him recreate.

tags Celtics

Celtics' Garnett gives a look into the habits that have helped him be so good for so long

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 21, 2013 01:10 PM

As he finds himself at the core of what has to be a head vs. heart dilemma for many Celtics fans -- their heads saying it'd probably be in the Celtics' best long-term interests to trade him and/or Paul Pierce if either veteran can fetch a future building block, while their hearts are saying they want both of those all-timers to someday retire wearing green -- Kevin Garnett is sharing some of what helps him keep his 36-year-old body in such a condition that he's still considered a commodity by NBA teams.

Among some of his secrets: Yoga -- which Garnett says is supposed to help him stay balanced, even as he laughs it off with a leery look -- and an early morning jog, followed by some meditation, along the beach. Oh, and of course there's a healthy dose of Pure Premium Coconut Water from ZICO, which produced and sponsored the videos posted below. If nothing else, they speak to the determination and the discipline it takes to be so good for so long, and vouch for how valuable yoga can be for even the most elite of athletes.

So simply follow this regiment, sprout up to about 7 feet, unleash your inner competitive viciousness and, boom, maybe you could make 15 all-star appearances, too.

tags Celtics

Meet the newest Celtic, Terrence Williams

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 19, 2013 03:03 PM

Considering Boston will be his fifth NBA stop since being drafted 11th overall in 2009 -- in addition to stints in the D-League and China during that same span -- there's a chance Terrence Williams' career as a Celtic lasts only as long as the 10-day contract he'll begin as soon as the paperwork allows.

But if you're interested in learning more about the 6-foot, 6-inch swingman who grew up in Seattle before playing collegiately at Louisville, he's eager to share. So eager, in fact, that in 2011 he debuted his own Web series, with "Poor Hungry Driven" to offer insights into the life of a "real person that gives it to you straight and works out a lot -- a workaholic." (Williams is a longtime friend of ex-Celtic Nate Robinson, who has a Web series of his own.)

Here's the first episode, with subsequent episodes available through the TerrenceWilliamsTV YouTube channel.

Now that Williams has the introductions out of the way, it's up to him to, over the next 10 days, convince Celtics fans they should really care.

tags Celtics

Bruins visit Newtown to bring smiles and the Stanley Cup

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 19, 2013 09:13 AM

After surviving a few hairy final seconds against the Jets Sunday night, and flying back from Winnipeg for a wee-hours arrival, seven Bruins and Coach Claude Julien hopped on another plane Monday afternoon for a short flight that they hoped would make long-lasting memories.

Andrew Ference, Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, Rich Peverley, Chris Bourque, Adam McQuaid, and Daniel Paille all boarded Jeremy Jacobs' private plane bound for Newtown, Conn., site of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left dead 26 students, teachers, and educators, and a community the Bruins wanted to help in its healing.

"We wanted to come here and let the kids be kids and have fun," Julien told the Stamford Advocate. "If that's what we've accomplished, then we've accomplished something.

"I have all the time in the world for these people."

In becoming the latest sports outfit to lend a hand by visiting Newtown -- the Red Sox and Revolution among them, recently -- The Bruins played floor hockey with kids at the Newtown Youth Academy, while the Stanley Cup the team earned in 2011 also made an appearance. Additionally, members of the organization hosted street hockey clinics and had an hour-long clinic with the Newtown High hockey team (which gave the Bruins some sweaters).

Suffice it to say, it was a nice way to use an off-day in the middle of a five-game road trip.

"It's amazing, the fact that the Bruins have taken a day out of their busy schedule to be here with us, and to make our community excited and fun and happy really means a lot," Natalie Hammond, the lead teacher at Sandy Hook who was wounded while defending her students, told the Advocate. "It's really incredible."

"I can't even fathom what people are going through," Ference told the paper, which pointed out that the defenseman is a father of two. "I can't even begin to understand it."

tags Bruins

Gronkowski to work Oscars' red carpet

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 14, 2013 11:29 PM

The red carpet at the Academy Awards is a place for high fashion, elegance, statements of various sophistication, and the Hollywood elite.

So who better to report on its happenings than Rob Gronkowski?

The Winter of Gronk already well underway (see examples 1, 2, 3, and 4), the Patriots' tight end has agreed to man the microphone as the Oscars correspondent for NFL Media and the Rich Eisen Podcast, an assignment that'll put him on the red carpet and interviewing stars as they make their way into the Dolby Theatre for the Feb. 24 ceremony. We suspect/fear Gronkowski will himself be wearing something along the lines of Patrick Swayze's Chippendale tuxedo, but the best of his sure-to-be-unique interpretation of a 6-foot, 6-inch Ryan Seacrest will air Feb. 28, at 8:30 p.m., on the NFL Network. Last year it was the Steelers' Hines Ward who handled the duties for Eisen, and handled himself well.

There's no telling how this could go for the Patriot, though expect it to be a bit more fun than Ward's performance given that Gronkowski should be in his element at an event populated by so many beautiful women and punctuated by a number of epic parties. For his sake, let's just hope he doesn't wind up spiking a statuette.

tags Patriots

Boston athletes, teams continue to rally around BC's Frates in his fight against ALS

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 14, 2013 08:12 AM

Peter Frates and Patrice Bergeron

As the Bruins got back to business after the NHL lifted its lockout, and the players were reacquainting themselves with the rest of the organization, Patrice Bergeron asked Eric Tosi what he'd been up to. This being January, and Boston, the centerman probably didn’t expect to hear that the club's assistant director of media relations had recently been for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean.

But when the frigid plunge was explained, when Tosi said he did it on behalf of Peter Frates -- the 28-year-old product of Beverly, St. John's Prep, and Boston College who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease last March -- Bergeron wanted to do what he could to similarly support the former college baseball outfielder. Then Tuesday night, he made good on that desire.

Frates and 12 of his friends spent the evening watching the Bruins-Rangers thriller from a TD Garden luxury box as guests of Bergeron, then after the shootout they met with him near the locker room, where the assistant captain traded one of his own game-worn jerseys for one of the red, ribbon-adorned "Frate Train" T-shirts being sold to support the Pete Frates' #3 Fund.

"Patrice is a class act all the way," Frates said. "He's very giving."

Indeed, such meet-and-greets are relatively common for Bergeron, who hosts groups at each Bruins home game as part of his "Patrice's Pals" program. But they've also become fairly common for Frates, around whom a variety of Boston's pro athletes and teams continue to rally in support of his fight against a disease that causes the progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Peter Frates, Hero Among UsA night after visiting Bergeron and the Bruins, Frates was back at the Garden, where the Celtics honored him as a "Hero Among Us," meeting with Avery Bradley and Carlos Boozer (right) before the game, then receiving an enormous ovation from the sellout crowd as he stood up after being wheeled to center court during a stoppage in play. He's already been saluted at Fenway Park, where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch during ALS Awareness Night last season, and earlier this week the Red Sox announced they'll donate the net proceeds from April's Baseball Beanpot to the #3 Fund -- which is named as such because that's the number Frates wore while captain of the BC baseball team.

Those, however, are only the most recent examples of the outpouring Frates has received from the sports world since he was officially diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis less than a year ago. Matt Ryan, who most know as the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback, but Frates knows as one of the first kids he met during orientation at Chestnut Hill, bought some Frate Train gear and sent a picture of himself wearing it after beating the Cowboys early last season. Fellow BC alums Mark Herzlich, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Chris Snee wore his T-shirts while posing in front of the Super Bowl trophies won by their New York Giants. Another ex-Eagle, now-New York Ranger Brian Boyle, met with Frates and his friends during Tuesday's tilt in Boston.

Frates was invited to participate in the "Oldtime Baseball Game" last summer, and that night Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington presented him with a No. 3 Sox jersey. He met Bruins legends Derek Sanderson and Bobby Orr for a private book signing. He had dinner with Ray Bourque at Tresca. Former NFL safety Steve Gleason, who also has ALS, wears his gear. Curt Schilling held up a Frate Train T-shirt during an airing of ESPN's "Baseball Tonight." Frates has also received a lot of support from Kevin Youkilis, who's friendly with BC baseball coach Mike Gambino.

And that says nothing of all the immense fundraising and awareness initiatives spearheaded by his family and by people throughout the BC, BC Baseball, St. John's, Beverly, and Intercity League communities. They travel the globe with his T-shirts. They plan and participate in events, like the "Plunge 4 Pete" in which Tosi partook. They advocate however they can.

"It's just so humbling and touching that these guys will take time out of their season to show support for a fellow athlete," Frates said by phone Wednesday while awaiting the car the Celtics were sending to take him to the Garden. "It means a lot any time someone uses their sphere of influence or ability to reach a lot of people to help someone else.

"I admire that greatly."

The feeling is clearly mutual.


Frates will travel to Washington, D.C., on Feb. 25 to speak at a public FDA hearing held on the agency's regulations on drugs for the treatment of ALS, and will be getting married this June. For more information, to order Frate Train merchandise, or to contribute to the Pete Frates #3 Fund, visit petefrates.com.

Meet Boston's 6-foot-7 snow gauge

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 9, 2013 11:44 AM

As the blizzard known as Nemo winds down, everybody is curious to know just how much snow has fallen. If you don't have a yardstick, Paul Pierce is here to help.

The Celtics' captain stands 6-foot-7. So thankfully it's only a bit above his knees.

Oh, and if anyone's got some spare Iditarod equipment sitting around, Tyler Seguin could use a lift to the rink tonight.

Lottery contest offers chance to H-O-R-S-E around with Celtics' Paul Pierce

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 5, 2013 04:58 PM

Former forward Brian Scalabrine proved too much to handle in the "Scallenge" last month, though the Massachusetts State Lottery is offering another chance to take on one of the Celtics -- and while Scalabrine overwhelmed opponents with size and skill, this one requires tricks as much as talent.

Six randomly drawn grand prize winners will get the chance to play a game of H-O-R-S-E with C's star Paul Pierce next month, and all 18-or-older Massachusetts residents need do to enter this form of lottery is fill out (or mail) a form available at celtics.com/lottery. Given the captain's credentials as a scorer, it won't be easy to beat him -- but in this case even the opportunity to lose makes you a winner.

Oh, and if you're concerned about the prize in light of the Celtics' talking point du jour -- that after losing Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger for the season the club could be compelled to trade Pierce or Kevin Garnett before the Feb. 21 deadline -- this is from the official contest rules: "The Grand Prize Winners will have the opportunity to participate in a game of “H.O.R.S.E.” with a current Boston Celtics player (currently scheduled to be Paul Pierce but subject to change in the Celtics’ sole discretion) at the Celtics practice facility in Waltham, MA on March 15, 2013..."

So if Danny Ainge's discretion decides Pierce is playing elsewhere by then, it'll be someone else. And those six challengers will still be massive underdogs.

tags Celtics

Between preseason trips, Revs embarking on pub tour and inviting the public

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 4, 2013 04:32 PM

After traveling for a couple of preseason matches, and before departing on a 16-day training trip to Arizona, the Revolution are back in the area this week. While they're here, they're planning to hit up a few of the local bars. And they'd like you to join them.

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night, several players will participate in the team's 2013 Pub Tour -- during which fans will have the opportunity to mingle with some of New England's new talent and returning stars in a casual setting. At each stop there'll also be giveaways, including a chance to win tickets to the Revs' March 23 home opener against Sporting Kansas City.

There's no cover charge, and it's open to the general public, but -- these being bars, and all -- it's only for folks age 21 or older. Here's a list of where they'll be and who will be there:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 5
    The Banshee – 7-9 p.m.

    934 Dorchester Ave., Boston, Mass.
    Scheduled to appear: Andy Dorman, Lee Nguyen, Clyde Simms, A.J. Soares and Juan Toja
  • Wednesday, Feb. 6
    Phoenix Landing – 7-9 p.m.

    512 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge, Mass.
    Scheduled to appear: Scott Caldwell, Jose Goncalves, Matt Reis, Kelyn Rowe, Chris Tierney
  • Thursday, Feb. 7
    Rí Rá Providence – 7-9 p.m.

    50 Exchange Terrace # 50, Providence, R.I.
    Scheduled to appear: Kalifa Cisse, Ryan Guy, Dimitry Imbongo, Saer Sene, Bobby Shuttleworth
    *Held in conjunction with the final date of the Rev Girl Search Finals.

If you can't make it, fear not. Additional dates are expected to follow. Click here for more information on the Revolution's pub partners.

Broken arm no object, shirtless Rob Gronkowski lives it up in Baton Rouge

Posted by David D'Onofrio February 1, 2013 03:21 PM




You may be able to force Rob Gronkowski to wear a cast.

But you cannot force him to wear a shirt.

The Patriots' tight end apparently proved that again Thursday night, when he finished a round of Super Bowl-related media appearances in New Orleans -- during which he coyly tried to convince Dan Patrick that he doesn't drink beer anymore, and that he and brothers drink "funnels of water" -- and headed for the college town of Baton Rouge. That's where reddit user clb2489 supposedly snapped this photo of Gronkowski, swigging from a bottle of Budweiser.

Just further proof that when you're Gronk, little gets in the way of a good time. Least of all, your shirt.

tags Patriots

About the author

Dave D'Onofrio follows Boston's pro players away from the field, court or ice, covering their interests and activities in the community and beyond. A Massachusetts native, once his dreams of More »

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