Celtics Players Spread Holiday Cheer At Boston Children's Hospital

boston celtics visit boston children's hospital

Jayson Tatum and Daniel Theis get into the holiday spirit. (Lana Jones/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Members of the Boston Celtics paid their annual holiday visit to Boston Children's Hospital Thursday, spending one-on-one time with some very excited patients.

Players, coaches and front office personnel, arrived in Santa caps, reindeer antlers, and silly glasses to interact with kids who they said gave them inspiration.

Injured forward Gordon Hayward strode in with a barely-visible brace on his left ankle--but he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 it was insignificant.

"My injury is nothing compared to what these kids have to go through and what they're battling, for a lot of times for their lives," he said. "Just to come and see their faces, see the energy they have, it really boosts me up, lifts my spirits, and hopefully I can do the same for them."

One of the patients said he was inspired by Hayward's recovery.

"He said he saw what I was going through, and he is obviously in the chair right now, and it helped him out a little bit," Hayward said. "One of the reasons I love coming to the hospital is, it really puts things in perspective."

Coach Brad Stevens says he can imagine being a kid again and seeing guys like Al Horford and Gordon Hayward walk through the door.

"So its fun that those guys get a chance to spend time with these kids that are truly inspirational to all of us, the way that they battle every day to get healthy," he said.

Marcus Smart has made this visit before, and said the whole team feels the impact.

"Sometimes as athletes we get put on this pedestal, and this kind of brings you back down and kinds of humbles you," he said. "I think everybody takes from this as a humbling experience, and sometimes you need that."

Jayson Tatum came to Children's for the second time in just a few months.

"I just think it's great that we use our platform to spend time with these kids who go through so much, just to take their minds off whatever they're going through for a couple of hours," he said.

The Celtics sang and colored with a room full of kids, then made private visits to those who could not join in.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports

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