Wilcox gives back to heart association

Wilcox gives back to heart association
May 13, 2013, 5:00 pm
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WALTHAM, Mass. — The Celtics' season has been over for a couple of weeks and Chris Wilcox is still in town. 

He knows his time as a member of the Celtics family might be coming to an end when his contract expires June 30.

But that doesn't mean he doesn't still feel a strong connection to the Boston community. 

Although it has been more than a year since he underwent heart surgery, Wilcox still has a great deal of gratitude for the city and the support it showed him while he was sidelined and later when he returned.

"At the end of the day, Boston gave me a second chance on life, a second chance on my career," Wilcox told CSNNE.com."I owe everything to them for giving me that opportunity. But at the same time, I want to give back to the community and show the fans that I appreciate the support they gave me when I was gong through what I was going through."

That's why he didn't hesitate to lend his time to the American Heart Association's Heart Ball last month in auctioning off a free basketball clinic on Monday that was awarded to 10 children from Oak Hill Middle School in Newton. 

According to the AHA website, the Boston Heart Ball campaign raised more than $51 million nation-wide, "allowing them to fund more $123 million of research and programs."

The AHA's efforts certainly hit close to home for Wilcox who in 2012 had to have heart surgery for an enlarged aorta that cut short his season. 

Months after surgery, Wilcox re-signed with the Celtics and spent this past season as a backup center behind Kevin Garnett. 

The way he and fellow Celtics teammate Jeff Green bounced back from heart surgery to resume playing is commendable. 

Green was sidelined for the entire 2011-2012 season when a physical prior to the start of training camp indicated that he too would need heart surgery.

And while Green's play seemed to only get better in time -- he led the Celtics with a 20.3 points per game in the playoffs -- Wilcox's play remained inconsistent.

His role diminished as the season wore on, and he understands it's not likely that the Celtics will try to re-sign him during the offseason. 

As much as Wilcox wants to be back with the C's, he understands that the NBA is indeed a business and the Celtics -- like most teams -- will do what they feel is best for the franchise moving forward.

"Hopefully I will be back," Wilcox said. "If not, I do appreciate everything the Celtics have done for me and the fans as well." 

To learn more about Chris Wilcox's work with AHA as well as his other charitable endeavors, check out www.chriswilcox.com.

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