Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas makes a young athlete’s dream come true
If you were too embroiled in the new NFL season or the playoff hunt in the MLB, you might’ve missed this heartwarming story from Isaiah Thomas and a high schooler named Robbie McNulty. After one of Boston’s rainy days last week, Robbie went to shoot hoops alone at St. Peter’s Park in Cambridge, Massachusetts when a mysterious figure approached. Thomas, the Boston Celtics’ starting point guard and reigning Eastern Conference All-Star, was leaving back-to-school night with his wife, Kayla nearby.
As Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe reported, Thomas had originally wanted to join an adult softball game, but when Kayla shot it down, he decided to make the 14 year-old’s day.
“He was the only kid there,” Thomas said. “So I’m like, ‘I’m just going to go get some shots up with him.’ When I walked over, he rebounded his own shot and turned around and I’m like, ‘Can I get a couple shots?’ And he stopped. He didn’t even say a word, like his eyes were so big. He just stopped and froze and I’m like, ‘Pass me the ball.’ ”
Robbie, of course, was starstruck as he lived out every young athlete’s dream at once. Even better, Thomas responded to Robbie’s Instagram post later that night with a simple, but sweet: “Nice rebounding for u.” Somehow, Thomas then one-upped that by inviting Robbie to a Celtics’ game this year as his guest. Pretty cool, huh?
As Thomas puts it, interacting with fans like that isn’t an attempt at goodwill or publicity, it’s his obligation as a professional athlete. In a quote that will resonate with all of us, Thomas says:
“I love just little interactions like that,” the point guard said. “I know it means a lot, because I was once in his shoes. I was once that kid at games wanting a player to just wave to me and acknowledge me, so I know that feeling and I know that’s my job now.”
Truly, this is why we love sports to its very core — the community, camaraderie, and hard work can make anything possible. On behalf of athletes young and old, thank you, Isaiah! Making dreams come true and inspiring another generation of players, whether Thomas meant to or not, can safely go on his resume right to NBA All-Star.
Adam Himmelsbach — The Boston Globe