BOSTON -- Kevin Garnett is one of the most emotional athletes in professional sports. But on
Friday night, he displayed a side of him far removed from the chest pumps and yelling that have become characteristic for nearly 20 years.
Prior to the Boston Celtics game against the Houston Rockets, Worcester Telegram reporter Bill Doyle presented Garnett with an article he had written on a teen born without two legs and one arm who not only idolized Garnett, but has also learned how to play basketball with his disabilities.
"Amazing, amazing," said Garnett as he gazed down at the newspaper. "He has more three's
than I have. That's amazing. Things like that are just simply amazing. Other than the reaction and what you see now, I have no words for that. That's truly amazing to me."
Roman Sweeney, a senior at North Central Charter Essential School, in Fitchburg, MA, was
adopted from Russia when he was six years old. In spite of the fact that his left arm extends only down to where his elbow would be and his both of his legs end above his knee, Sweeney has learned to play hoops, tennis, baseball, and participates in other physical activities.
"Wow, that's true determination," said Garnett. "That's someone who really loves basketball and loves the game and living life. That's true inspiration right there."
Garnett was moved that the 19 year old named him his favorite NBA player. He began playing in the league when Sweeney was less than two years old.
"Out of all the players in this league, that's a true compliment. I'm more than honored. For what reason, I have no idea (laughs). But it's flattering, it's flattering," he said.
Garnett continued, "I've been in this game long enough, I hope that I've contributed something to this game other than the negative parts of it. Hopefully I've brought some good and some type of influence to the game. Hopefully somewhere in the world, some people find any type of positive or any type something that gets them through their day. I've always been grateful and more than appreciative to be able to be someone's strength if not a source of confidence. Out of all the things in the world to be able to look at and say, this is what I use for confidence, I'm one of them. So that's a true compliment."