Jr. Celtics a Slam Dunk at the East Boston YMCA

For the past several months at the East Boston YMCA’s Ashley Street site, the Y has been partnering with the Boston Celtics and their Jr. Celtics Youth Development Leagues coaches.

This season participants were guided through instructional and recreational teams and have experienced an exclusive basketball program teaching the values of Celtics basketball. These values at the program focuses on healthy player and coach development.

East Boston YMCA Executive Director Joe Gaeta said the purpose of this program is to help encourage, support and improve the overall youth basketball experience.

“We aim to develop a lifelong passion for the game of basketball in youth by teaching them the fundamentals of the sport while instilling core values including teamwork, respect and sportsmanship,” he said.

Along with the core values of the Jr Celtics, Gaeta said he wants Eastie youth to achieve their goals, build community, and engage in positive encouragement.

Every weekend at the Ashley Street Y, youth deepen and strengthen their skills and confidence on and off the court.

“But most importantly, the community that is built between youth and between parents is the number one success of our program,” said Gaeta. “Whether a kid makes a basketball or misses, everyone in the room is cheering you on. We are not only nurturing future Celtics players but also nurturing children in our community who will become individuals with character.”

The program has been a huge success among parents who praised its positive outcomes.

“My daughter has enjoyed the Jr. Celtics session so much and really grown in her skills and confidence,” said Luisa, mother of 6-year-old Katerina.

Registration is now open for our Winter Session of Jr Celtics, which starts January 11. Scholarships are available.  For more information please contact Carlos Fuentes at [email protected] or 617-418-8328.

Last year the Boston Celtics and Sun Life Financial teamed up with the Y to revamp the Ashley Street gymnasium.

As part of the renovation project, the Celtics and Sun Life funded improved basketball hoops, a freshly sanded hardwood playing surface, a newly installed lighting system, wall graphics, and wall padding with Celtic logos and green paint. As part of the renovation the Y joined the Celtics annual Fit to Win program. Fit to Win is a four-week community-based program that will help each Eastie ‘Y’ child embrace fitness exercises and healthy lifestyle habits. Each week, with the help of a motivational and instructional video from Celtics mascot Lucky the Leprechaun, the children learned new exercises and health-conscious habits to follow. Throughout each week the children tracked their activities and will be rewarded with Celtics-themed prizes.

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