Ortiz, Allen work two jobs: Athlete and father


Ortiz, Allen work two jobs: Athlete and father

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com Follow@JCameratoNBA
This weekend millions of men will celebrate Fathers Day with their families. Among them are two of Bostons biggest sports stars, Ray Allen and David Ortiz. Like many professional athletes, a major part of their careers is finding a balance between their roles as players and dads.

Allen, a father of four, is about to embark on a new stage in his teenage daughters life. Meanwhile Ortiz, a father of three, has found a unique way to spend extra time with his young son. They talked about these specials points in their childrens lives with CSNNE.com.

David and DAngelo Ortiz

DAngelo Ortiz made a beeline across the Boston Red Sox clubhouse, exuding curiosity and excitement with a baseball in hand. He reached his fathers locker and asked if he knew how to grip a curveball. Red Sox slugger David Ortiz reached out his hand, practically enveloping his sons, as he took the baseball to demonstrate. The 6-year-old watched attentively, soaking it all in while Ortiz carefully explained.

The pack of reporters huddled around Ortizs locker would have to wait a few more minutes for a postgame interview. In that moment, Ortizs role as a father took precedence over answering any questions about home runs and box scores.

Like many athletes with children, Ortiz tries to spend as much time with his family as he can before hitting the road for games. As a solution, DAngelo has been accompanying him to Fenway Park since he was a toddler. Over the years he has become a mainstay in the Red Sox clubhouse, often sporting a pint-size number 34 uniform.

Ortiz, who also has 10- and 14-year-old daughters, wants to be around DAngelo whenever possible during this irreplaceable time in his life.

Were always traveling and I pretty much spend a lot of time away from him, so I dont want to miss anything. Kids do a lot of funny, crazy things, said Ortiz. This is an age that you definitely want to watch them because they grow so fast and next thing you know, theyre grown up. I think when you are between the age of 1 and 5, that should be a longer period of time because kids do so many funny things that are enjoyable.

In addition to having him around in Boston, Ortiz has been able to spend time with his children away from home as well. Ortizs favorite moment with DAngelo took place when he brought him to the 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco. Ortiz attended the Home Run Derby -- and DAngelo stole the show.

This guy had been swinging since, I would say, he was in his mamas belly, Ortiz prefaced. Were in the middle of the Home Run Derby and once the guy that was hitting walked away to stop hitting, this guy walked up to the plate to swing the bat, out of nowhere. The whole crowd went crazy. Those are the little things that you want to see happening over and over and over. This guy, 3 years old, felt proud walking to the plate like it was his turn.

Ortizs time spent with his son isnt all about fun and games, though. There are still rules to follow. He believes it is important to emphasize manners and discipline to his children.

Hes a good kid. Hes very humble. He behaves himself well and when he comes to the clubhouse, everybody wants a piece of him, Ortiz said. I think thats a relationship thats going to be there forever. You want to teach them the best so they always behave and follow the example.

Ortiz would be thrilled if DAngelo followed in his footsteps on the field.

Oh, he can hit. He can definitely hit, Ortiz said. The other day I went to his Little League game and he made a good play at third base and then he hit a home run. Me and Kevin Youkilis were there and he came out off the field and all he talked about was the play that he made.

I ever see him play in the Big Leagues, its going to bring a lot of memories.

Ray and Tierra Allen

Life has been just as much about basketball as fatherhood during Ray Allens 15-year career. Allens daughter, Tierra, was born before he entered the NBA and has been able to share all the memories that he has compiled over the years -- the All-Star Games, the NBA title, and all 2,612 three-pointers.

Now Allen is looking forward to sharing in a new chapter of his daughters life -- college athletics.

Tierra, 18, graduated from Wellesley (MA) High School this spring and will play volleyball at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut in the fall, just over 50 miles away from Allen's alma mater, the University of Connecticut.

Allen expects his daughter to take the same determined approach he takes to basketball.

She now has to go and work and be one of the best players that they have, he said.

Tierra lived with her father during his time with the Seattle SuperSonics. It was important to Allen that, regardless of her dads accomplishments, she understood the importance of education and work ethic as she played both volleyball and basketball (unlike her father, Tierra is a forward). In the Allen household, succeeding in school was held with the same regard as winning a game.

The school she was in in Seattle was 99-percent graduation rate, Allen said. It was an all-girls school and the list of the schools these girls were going to, any parent would have been like, Let me send my child there. I knew she was going to go to college, and that was the biggest thing wanting her to be around kids that wanted to go to college and had great ambition.

After Allen was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007, Tierra returned to South Carolina to live with her mother. While Allen was fighting for another title, his daughter was collecting her own accolades as she earned regional volleyball player of the year honors.

Tierra moved to Wellesley last summer to live with Allen during her senior year of high school. She made her mark nearly as quickly as her father did in Boston -- she was named to the Bay State Conference All-Star Teams in both sports.

When it came time to choosing a college, the selection process was just one of the aspects of being a father (he also has three younger sons who regularly attend games) that helps keep Allen grounded.

Being a dad helps, he said. You dont stress out too much around here because youve got business to handle when you leave. You stay honest because you always know you have to be accountable, not just to these people here but to the people I go to at home.

As Tierra begins her collegiate career, Allen, who played three years of college basketball, knows firsthand about the hard work and obstacles she will face.

Im very excited and interested at the same time, he said. I know shes never worked hard like shes about to work hard. And you cant give me excuses. I told her, Theres going to be that moment where youre going to call me and say you dont like it here. And when I find out the reasons, its going to be because . . . the coach is on your butt every single day. And I was there. I was there. But I had too much pride to call home and tell somebody I cant hack it because I was going to make it work.

It wont be easy, but as Allen has proved his entire career, rewards arent given to those who take the easy way out.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCamerato

Young getting on floor more for Celtics, including key fourth-quarter stints

Young getting on floor more for Celtics, including key fourth-quarter stints

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – For most of his life, basketball has come easy to James Young.
So, the idea that in training camp he wasn’t just fighting to get playing time but also to stay in the NBA, was a jarring eye-opener.
To Young’s credit, he rose to the challenge and beat out R.J. Hunter for the Celtics' final roster spot.
And while Young’s playing time has been sporadic, he has done a much better job of maximizing his opportunities.
So, as the Celtics roll into Detroit to face the Pistons, Young finds himself playing his best basketball as a pro, good enough to make coach Brad Stevens not hesitate to put him in the game in the fourth quarter of a close matchup.
“It’s exciting to come back home,” Young, who grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., told CSNNE.com. “A lot of my family will be there. I’m not thinking about me. I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team.”
And lately, he’s getting an opportunity to do just that beyond being someone who helps in practice.
We saw that in the 107-97 loss at Toronto on Friday. Young came off the bench to play four minutes, 36 seconds in the fourth quarter with only two other Celtics reserves, Marcus Smart (8:39) and Jonas Jerebko (5:10) seeing more action down the stretch.
“It means a lot,” Young said. “He’s starting to trust me a little bit more. That’s a good thing. I’m just trying to do little things; rebound, get defensive stops and score when I get a chance.”
The fact that his scoring is just starting to take shape helps shed some light on why he has been buried so deep on the Celtics bench.
For his first couple seasons, Young seemed a hesitant shooter physically overwhelmed by opponents too strong for him to defend as well as too physical for him to limit their effectiveness.
But this season, he has done a better job at holding his own as a defender while making himself an available scoring option who can play off his teammates.
Young is averaging just 2.9 points per game this season, but he’s shooting a career-high 48.9 percent from the field and 41.7 percent on 3’s, which is also a career-high.
Getting on the floor more often has in many ways provided yet another boost of confidence to Young.
“I’m getting used to the flow of the game playing more consistently,” Young said. “I know what to do. It’s slowing up a little more and it’s getting easier.”

Blakely: Raptors newcomers show Celtics what they're missing

Blakely: Raptors newcomers show Celtics what they're missing

TORONTO – It’s far too soon to say if the Celtics’ decision to stand pat at the trade deadline was a mistake.
But the early returns aren’t encouraging.
Their 107-97 loss Friday night to the Toronto Raptors wasn’t because of Kyle Lowry (right wrist), who didn’t even play, or DeMar DeRozan, who played out his mind while scoring a career-high 43 points.
The game will be remembered by the new guys Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker, both acquired at the trade deadline by the Raptors.
Ibaka, who was a bad fit, and on most nights a bad player, in Orlando, looked like the O-K-C Ibaka while scoring 15 points to go with seven rebounds against the Celtics – numbers that were better than his two games combined against the Celtics this season with the Magic when he scored a total of just 12 points while grabbing eight rebounds.
And then there was Tucker, who got a crash video course on Raptors playbook just hours before the game, and proceeded to show the kind of toughness at both ends of the floor that has made him one of the league’s more underrated defenders as he finished with a near double-double of nine points and 10 rebounds.
It was their first game with their new team, but you would have thought they had been with Toronto all season long with how seamless they seemed to fit in.
Ibaka draining jumpers, Tucker causing chaos defensively, while absolutely crushing the Celtics on the boards...their play was a painful reminder of what could have been for the Green team.
Both were rumored to have been in the Celtics’ crosshairs prior to the Thursday 3 p.m. trade deadline. The Celtics were lukewarm at best on Ibaka (they didn’t want what would have been a 25-game rental) and just couldn’t quite strike a deal and cross the finish line for Tucker.
It’s too soon to hit the panic button and rip Danny Ainge for not getting a minor deal done like adding Tucker or Ibaka.
Still, his players have to embrace the truth behind what transpired this trade season.
Ainge went big-game hunting, focusing most of the team's efforts on landing a major difference-maker, a la Jimmy Butler or Paul George.
When that didn’t work out, he settled for the next best thing, which was to keep this group together.
The onus is now on them to prove that trust Ainge has in them, was well-placed.
Putting too much stock in the first game after the break is a risky proposition that no one should subscribe to.
But in the loss, it revealed many of the concerns and weaknesses of this roster that tend to get magnified in defeat while glossed over when they manage to win despite those flaws.
Isaiah Thomas may be the best scorer in the fourth quarter, but he’s human.
There will be games when Mr. Fourth Quarter can’t get it done.
Friday night was that kind of game for him. He scored just four of his team-high 20 points in the fourth.
And as the Raptors blitzed him repeatedly with two and three defenders, his teammates failed to step up when the opportunity was there to make impactful, game-altering plays down the stretch.
Watching the Celtics’ defense in the second half was painful.
DeRozan got whatever he wanted, when he wanted it.
And when he missed, the Raptors controlled the boards, got all the 50/50 balls and repeatedly out-worked Boston.
It exposed Boston in a way that’s painful to see, especially when those inflicting the greatest amount of damage could have been in the Celtics huddle and not the one on the other sideline.