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Lane Turner/Globe Staff
Before he learns the Brad Stevens playbook in his third season as member of the Boston Celtics, Brandon Bass is learning another important lesson: how to swim. Starting this Friday, the Celtics forward will be taking swimming lessons with kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Boston.

Listen, I wanted to start Friday off with some light news. I wanted to make a few jokes about how this is great because solid interior defense looks a lot like an aggressive Australian crawl, or how effectively boxing out looks a ton like the back stroke, but the more I dug in, the more this story transitioned from blog fodder to inspirational athlete outreach.

As detailed in Bella English's Globe piece, this is a important issue that strikes a chord with several members of the Celtics.



Bass grew up in Baton Rouge, La., with no real place to swim and with friends, a brother, and parents who did not swim either. When he was a child, a neighbor his age drowned, and the memory has stayed with him.

It was a child’s drowning death in summer 2011 that got the Boys & Girls Club thinking about a swimming program for the inner-city youth, mostly black and Hispanic, which it serves.

Something like that happened to Celtics forward Jeff Green when he was a boy.

“I slipped on wet pavement on the outside edge of a pool and fell in, panicked, and almost drowned,” says Green, 27. “I want to learn to swim before I have kids, and I want them to learn. I think it’s just a skill that kids and people in general should have. Whether a family vacation, or just with friends, a lot of activities take place near water.”

Admittedly, Bass can barely float, never mind tread water, but he is looking forward to his first swimming lesson and is encouraging other parents to take the time to learn as well.

“Even if you don’t want to swim,” he says, “it’s important to learn in case you need to.”

Story via Bella English/The Boston Globe

Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter at @padraic_oconnor

Padraic O'Connor 9/27/2013 10:32:00 AM Edit
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