Belmont Courts Role in Attorney General Race

Maura Healey takes a three-point shot and “swish” – nothing but net.

The candidate for Massachusetts Attorney General who is battling long-time politician Warren Tolman to replace Martha Coakley (who Healey worked for as an assistant AG before resigning to run for the position) is seen taking the ball to the hoop on an outdoor court in her first television campaign ad released Tuesday, Aug. 6.

“When you’re a five-four pro basketball player, you learn to take on the big guys,” says a narrator as Healey stands under the basket as the ad recalls her time as an outstanding hoopster at Harvard and as a pro in Austria.

Upon closer inspection of the ad, Healey is hitting her shots on the basketball court at Belmont’s Grove Street Playground across from Belmont Cemetery.

Could it be that Healey selected the site due to her long-time friendship on and off-the-court with Belmont’s Melissa Hart?

“I’m not sure why she chose Grove Street and did not ask her when I saw her the other day, but I did tell her that was where I grew up shooting around and practicing on my own,” said Hart, a star athlete at Belmont High and Hamilton College and currently Belmont High’s girls’ basketball head coach.

As someone who first got to know Healey as a member of a competitive recreation basketball league the two joined to stay active in the sport, the Oakley Road resident believes the former Harvard basketball captain has the skill set to be successful in state-wide office as she has been on the court.

“I think Maura is a natural in the political arena because she is genuine, sharp, and willing to stand up and fight, but has a great warmth about her evident from anyone who meets her,” said Hart.

“I have not heard of someone who has met her and spoken to her that has not liked her and been impressed with her actually. She is committed to the law and to civil rights and justice. Maura does not want any political office she can be elected to, Maura wants the job of the attorney general,” said Hart, who invited Healey to participate at the Belmont youth basketball clinic last fall.

As for taking on Healey on the court, Hart said she is fortunate to have had the former pro on her side most of the time.

“Luckily Maura was always on my team, even if we were all just splitting up to play. I am not sure I can remember too many times she was on the opposite team or maybe wanted to forget!” said Hart.