Charter school student inspires Garnett


Charter school student inspires Garnett

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."

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins' situation isn't far off from a character in HBO's "Ballers." And he played into those connections with a video on Twitter.

The slot receiver, who signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, shares some similarities with the fictional football player Rickey Jerret, a veteran receiver who wades through interest from a number of teams, including New England, during free agency. Because of those similarities, Hawkins spoofed on a scene from "Ballers" where Jerret works out with Patriots receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Hawkins imposes his face over Jerret's.

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

The Coyotes have hired former player Craig Cunningham as a pro scout, keeping the 26-year-old in hockey after a cardiac episode ended his playing career this season. 

Drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Cunningham played 34 games for Boston over parts of two seasons before he was waived and claimed by Arizona. He totaled 19 games for the Coyotes, but served as captain of the Tucson Roadrunners, the team’s AHL affiliate. 

Cunningham was hospitalized after he collapsed during pregame warmups on Nov. 19. He was kept alive by continual CPR, but had his lower left leg amputated the next months due to an infection from the episode. 

Known as a high-character player who was popular with his teammates, Cunningham’s transition to scouting lets him further his career after a scary break. 

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes," Cunningham said in a statement released by the team. "I'm very grateful to John Chayka, Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I've received over the past year. I'm looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

Said Chayka, the team’s general manager: ”We're thrilled to have Craig join our hockey operations department as a pro scout. Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game. We're confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club."