By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – After embracing a role as a social activist during the summer and a leader on the Boston Celtics during the team’s playoff run last year, Jaylen Brown is now embracing a new title.

“I’ve been in Boston for five years, and I’m a Bostonian now in a sense,” Brown said during a post-practice Zoom call on Saturday.

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Just two days after he was named one of the The Boston Globe’s “Bostonians Of The Year,”  Brown talked about his deep bond with the city and how he hoped to continue to make an impact on the community for years to come.

“It’s a major time of my life I’ve spent in Boston now. I’m trying to be a part of the solutions and not the problems here, and trying to see where I can help out because it takes a community, and I’m trying to be a part of this community. I’m definitely trying to get more engaged and see where I can help out the most,” said Brown.

The Globe picked six individuals or groups that were “engaged in the fight against COVID-19, or racial injustice, or – as is often the case – both of these deeply interconnected pandemics.”  

The newspaper gave him the title of “Role Model” for his activism. In May, Brown helped lead a protest in his home state of Georgia after the murder of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer. While playing in the NBA bubble during the playoffs, Brown continued to be outspoken about racial injustice.

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Despite being over 20 years his senior, Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens knows what kind of leader he has in Brown.

“I think a couple of things that are most important about being a leader, especially when you’re a younger player in the league and people are already starting to look to you, is that you’re willing to serve other people and help them soar and be the best they can be,” Stevens said. “That you set a great example and that you do so within your own personality. It’s important to be authentic, and I think he’s good at all three of those things.”

Along with his off-the-court activism, Brown took massive leaps on the court during the 2019-2020 season. He improved his per-game averages in points (20.3), rebounds (6.4), assists (2.1), field goal percentage (48.1), three-point shooting percentage (38.2) and free-throw percentage (72.4) from the season prior.

He also averaged 21.8 points a game in the Celtics playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Brown, who was drafted third overall by the C’s in 2016, was ranked by ESPN earlier in the week as the 32nd-best player in the NBA.

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Boston will begin their season on Dec. 23 against the Milwaukee Bucks.

CBSBoston.com Staff