Photo: Avery Bradley of the Boston Celtics putting his autograph on the new driveway court on Agassiz Avenue.
It’s not every day that Avery Bradley, Boston Celtic’s veteran guard who scores 15 points a game against some of best defenses in the NBA, is going to lose a game of driveway hoops to some preteen kid from Belmont.
But that is exactly what occurred this morning, Monday, Aug. 29, on Agassiz Avenue. One and done for the six year Celtics starter as he got only one shot off before getting “knocked out.”
“Oh, no. Avery,” yelled a bewildered Cedric Maxwell, the Boston great from the 1980s and still a fan favorite.
It was some morning at the last house on the dead end street as Bradley and Maxwell came to help break in a brand driveway court just outside the front door of Laura VanderHart and Jarrod Goentzel’s house that borders the Beaver Brook Reservation.
“This is just so exciting,” said VanderHart who watched their sons, 12-year-old Ian and Sam, who turned 8 Monday, mixing it up with pros, past and present.
The celebration was the result of the couple being selected a winner in the Celtics “Home Court” program which offers contestants the chance to have their home driveways transformed into a Celtics-themed home court, complete with equipment and Celtics gear in addition to a Celtics-style room makeover.
“We always wanted a court because it is at the end of the street,” said VanderHart, but after six years since moving into the house, it was something that needed to wait.
One night while watching a Celtics broadcast, Goentzel noticed the contest sponsored by Arbella Insurance and the team consisting of an essay on why a court should be constructed in your driveway.
“We should enter,” Goentzel told VanderHart, who wrote an article about how wonderful it would be that the entire neighborhood could all share the court due to its location.
“I was completely surprised when the Celtics called back,” she said.
You know you have arrived at the court by the bright green paint scheme as well as the signatures of Bradley and Max on the shamrock logo.
The celebration was topped off by Sam hitting the first basket, without the help of either Maxwell or Bradley.
Additionally, the Celtics hosted a free basketball clinic at nearby Waverley Oaks where Bradley taught basketball skills and stressed the importance of leadership, sportsmanship and community involvement.
His Belmont visit was the third time Bradley has participated at a Home Court opening, calling it a “blessing” that an organization such as the Celtics wishes to give back to the community and provide a safe place to play basketball.