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

Celtics break ground on new practice facility


Celtics break ground on new practice facility

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- When it comes to finding ways to attract the best talent, colleges and universities often seek to upgrade their training facilities as an enticement to prospective players.
So why should it be any different at the pro level?
The Boston Celtics had a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning for The Auerbach Center at New Balance Headquarters.
“When you think he was hired in 1966 and they’re still honoring him, it’s very humbling,” said Randy Auerbach, Red’s daughter.
New Balance officials echoed similar sentiments about the legendary Red Auerbach, the architect of arguably the greatest dynasty in professional basketball.
“Red Auerbach was a true entrepreneur whose passion for winning and dedication to the sport of basketball and the Boston Celtics was equally matched with his commitment to people and his local community,” said Jim Davis, Chairman and Owner at New Balance.  “New Balance is extremely proud to join with the Boston Celtics in honoring his professional achievements and personal values through ‘Red’s House’ at our Boston world headquarters.”
Celtics president Rich Gotham cited several benefits to moving the team to a state-of-the-art practice facility closer to Boston.
Among the reasons given was the potential for the practice facility to be a potential enticement for free agents.
“Players spend more time in the practice facility than they do in the arena they play in certainly, and maybe more than they do at home,” Gotham said. “So having a place where they feel comfortable, a place where they want to spend time to improve themselves across the board … it’s all coming together in a pretty big way. The best players know it’s integral to their success that make sure that support is there, that infrastructure is there. So when we’re out talking to a player, we’re going to be talking about this practice facility we’re building. Because we do think it’s an important part of our story.”
Some of the features of the new practice facility will include:
·  Two state-of-the-art parquet floor basketball courts where the team will practice
·  Leading edge audio-visual technology throughout the facility
·  Expanded strength and conditioning, training, and recovery facilities
·  Best-in-class locker rooms and players’ lounge
·  Physical therapy areas including hydrotherapy pools
·  Sports science and nutrition facilities
·  Expanded media work room, press conference and broadcast facilities
·  A flexible hospitality area designed for community relations activities, partner gatherings and other guest events
·  Work space for the team’s coaching and basketball front office staffs
While the facility will have all the bells and whistles you would come to expect in a new facility, Gotham said there will be a balance of sorts struck between that and the franchise’s longstanding history.
“What will be clear is it will be … at that intersection of, which is a strange intersection, of innovation but honoring our tradition,” Gotham said. “This will be a building that’s state-of-the-art, moving forward. But at the same time, I think one of the things we’re lucky to have is this treasure trove of great guys who came before us who left great wisdom and great quotes. You can see a lot of that built in. Coach Stevens is big on having motivational phrases around for the guys to see every single day when they come in for practice. If those come from Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, all the better. You’ll see us incorporating those kind of things.”   

Celtics waive R.J. Hunter as James Young makes roster

Celtics waive R.J. Hunter as James Young makes roster

BOSTON – One way or another, R.J. Hunter or James Young was not going to be a Boston Celtic by the end of the day Monday.
The Celtics made their choice by waiving Hunter just hours before the NBA deadline to trim their roster down to 15 players.
Hunter began to show signs of coming around near the end of training camp, but his improved play would eventually be too little too late.

This is certainly good news for Young, who like Hunter, made it clear that he wanted to remain with the Celtics. But it by no means should be seen as a victory for Young who is entering his third NBA season.
The 21-year-old is now part of the 15-man roster, but it still doesn’t address the issue of him playing better to where the Celtics might actually use him with some degree of regularity.
If not for Kelly Olynyk’s shoulder injury, which will keep him out of action until next month, there was a decent chance that Young would begin the season on the inactive roster. But to Young’s credit, he showed a level of dedication to the game that the Celtics had not seen before. He spent most of this past summer in Boston working on his game, trying to get physically stronger. During the preseason, his level of commitment to improving was noticeable as well.
And when he did get a chance to play in the preseason, he did a lot of little things really well, showing the kind of improvement that ultimately put him a leg up on Hunter whom the Celtics drafted last year with the 28th overall pick.
If Hunter isn’t claimed, he becomes an unrestricted free agent who can then sign with any team of his choosing. Do not be surprised if Hunter is claimed off waivers by a team which then assigns him to their Development League affiliate, similar to what the Celtics did with Ryan Kelly over the weekend.