BOSTON (CBS) – While his offseason has been about recovering from two shoulder surgeries, Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley has been busy giving back to the community.
Along with RE/MAX, Bradley and the Celtics had three “Home Court makeovers” during the week, making stops in Monson, North Andover and Lexington to deliver three lucky families a very special treat.
Each family’s makeover featured a driveway and court resealing, basket stanchion, backboard, scoreboard and ball rack. The kids also received a Celtics-themed bedroom makeover.
“It feels good to come here and see the community, show some love to the family,” Bradley said Wednesday after helping retool the Heim-Richards’ family driveway. “That’s what we’re here for. The Celtics family, we just want to give back to the community and that’s what we do; we put smiles on people’s faces.”
Bradley On Giving Back:
While he has plenty to do this summer to get ready for the regular season, Bradley doesn’t mind taking time to give back to the community at all.
“It’s real important. We are role models; the guys they watch every night. It’s important to come out here and just have a good time with them — teach them some stuff and learn some stuff from them,” the third-year guard said. “Boston loves me and I love Boston. I’m going to continue to give back.”
Wednesday’s trip was a little extra special. Last April, 7-year-old Brennan Heim-Richards was diagnosed with Legg Calves Perthes Disease in his left hip, which required long periods of crutch walking, non-weight bearing casting of both legs, and most recently hip surgery.
Now with a new court, Brennan and his two older brothers have a new place to enjoy time together.
They even got a few pointers from Bradley.
“I’m honored to have helped give this family a brand new court that they can enjoy for years to come,” he said. “I really enjoyed meeting the family and playing basketball with Brennan.”
Playing basketball is something Bradley hasn’t been able to do much of this summer. He underwent his first surgery on his right shoulder in late May, and had an additional procedure done in July. His status for the start of the 2012-13 season is still unclear, but the 21-year-old says he is feeling fine and getting ready for the new season.
“They feel great,” Bradley said of his shoulders. “I’m just taking it day-by-day, just trying to do as much as my trainers will let me do. I’m just trying to prepare myself for the season so I’m ready for my team.”
In his second NBA season, Bradley made the jump from bench-warmer to contributor, and then to the starting rotation late in the season. It was his move to the starting five, along with Kevin Garnett’s to center, that really helped the Celtics make a second-half surge.
“I was real excited. It’s exciting to be able to help your team out and get wins,” said Bradley. “We’re like a family and at the beginning of the year that’s our goal; to get to the championship. We were very close. At the end of the year, we were hurt, but we’re really looking forward to this year.
“We’re all brothers and Doc’s like our dad. We love playing together,” he said. “It’s good those guys came back – KG and Paul. I love playing with those guys. Kevin is one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. He’s so passionate about the game,. He takes a lot of pride in how hard he works, and that’s why he’s so good. He’s just a great teammate. He keeps us together and that’s why everyone wanted him to come back. He motivates us.”
One teammate that isn’t returning is the man Bradley replaced in the starting five: Ray Allen. The future Hall-of-Famer joined the Miami Heat, wanting more of a defined role on a title contender.
Bradley praised Allen, who although he was bitter about losing his starting job, still helped the second-year guard find his way.
“He meant a lot to me. He helped me out a lot — he helped everyone out a lot. He was a great teammate,” Bradley said of Allen. “It’s sad that he’s gone, but all we can do is move on and wish the best for him. We just have to keep moving as a team.”
The team has moved on, and restocked the shooting guard position. Along with Bradley, the addition of Jason Terry and Courtney Lee has the Celtics suddenly stocked at a position that wasn’t all that deep in 2012.
And while there will be a bit of a competition for the starting job between Bradley and Lee, he’s just happy the Celtics have a stocked team for another title run.
“They’re both very good players and I’m happy they’re part of the Celtics family,” he said. “We’re going to welcome them in and we’re start preparing for next season.”
Tune in to WBZ-TV’s Sports Final on Sunday night at 11:35pm for Dan Roche’s full 1-on-1 with Celtics guard Avery Bradley.