Alongside the children taking swim lessons at the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club Wednesday afternoon was none other than 7-foot-7 Celtics center Tacko Fall.
Nearly twice the size of his comrades, if not taller, Fall fully participated in the session, practicing introductory exercises like kicking and pushing off the wall. A round of “Marco Polo” capped the 30-minute lesson.
“I never learned how to swim, which is crazy because I lived right by the ocean back in Senegal,” said Fall. “I don’t want to say I was a homebody, but my mom wouldn’t let me go out a lot. I used to go to school and go back home, but I never really got to enjoy the beaches as much.”
While Fall has previously engaged in aquatic workouts — “I can stand in most pools,” he noted — Wednesday marked his first-ever swim lesson. He expressed an interest in returning to the club so that he can continue his learning.
“I’m a natural,” he said, smiling. “I’m learning how to swim. This is it. I’m learning how to swim. Just give me a couple of days.”
“He’s showing these kids something real important,” added Josh Kraft, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Boston. “It’s never too late. It’s never embarrassing to try something you don’t know how to do.”
Fall, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Celtics in June, said he will be physically ready for training camp, which begins Tuesday. The 23-year-old has had a busy summer, stealing the show at Summer League, traveling to Senegal for the first time in seven years, and working out at the Auerbach Center.