BROOKLYN, N.Y. Christmas came a little early this year for Jarvis Varnado, the newest member of the Boston Celtics.
The 6-foot-9 rookie was signed by the C's this week after a strong showing with the NBA Development League's Sioux Falls Skyforce.
"Playing in the NBA someday is what you always dream of," Varnado told CSNNE.com moments before stepping on to the floor for the first time as a member of the Boston Celtics. "I'm really happy right now."
Varnado described his arrival in Boston as being a whirlwind of a courtship that came together in a matter of hours.
"I came in for a workout on Sunday, and I thought it went pretty good," he said. "I talked to a couple of people and they said they (Celtics) were thinking about signing me and I later got the phone call from my agent to confirm it."
The addition of Varnado took on an even greater importance after the C's learned that a thumb injury to Chris Wilcox would sideline him for about a month. Couple that with Darko Milicic being waived to be with his ailing mother, and the need for another big was obvious.
Varnado's goal is to do whatever he can to not just play well, but play well enough that the C's will want to keep him around for the rest of the season.
"I know my role; just do what I do best; rebound and block shots and bring that energy to the floor," Varnado said.
In 10 games with the Skyforce, Varnado averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds and a league-best 3.9 blocked shots per game.
A three-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year at Mississippi State, he finished his collegiate career as the NCAA's all-time leader in blocked shots.
However, Varnado has had trouble sticking with teams in part because he has yet to show that he can bring more to the game than blocking shots and defending.
But considering what the C's need, Varnado's strengths fit in well with what the Celtics need more of out of their current roster.
"I just feel blessed for this opportunity," said Varnado who was drafted by Miami in the second round of the 2010 draft but whose rights were released prior to the start of this season. "It's been a long journey to get here. The only thing I have to do is all I can do, to stick."