Today’s featured fan is Eleanor from Long Island, NY. She was born & raised in Brooklyn and has since settled down in the North Shore area of Long Island. She is an elementary school teacher who teaches children with Autism. You may know her better as “Elgirrl”– her Twitter handle. So how does a life long resident of NYC become a Celtics fan? I posed that very question to her.
I wasn’t at all looking to become a fan of the Celtics when I started out. In fact, I had a superficial dislike for them based on some of the old rivalries they had with New York. But without even wanting to, I became completely drawn into this team by watching Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, and the rest of the team members play together. They were so talented. But they had more than just talent. They played with so much spirit and heart. The passion that they had was so strong that I just felt totally captured by it. It was very exciting. So I began to take a more serious interest in basketball. I laughed to myself, and even felt a bit guilty at the time as a New Yorker when I realized that I became a Boston Celtics’ fan! I became fascinated by Celtics’ history and then gradually worked back from there and learned much of the history of the franchise. I also watched videos of past players like Bird, Russell, Robert Parish, and others.
As far as favorite Celtics go, El tells me that Rajon Rondo is her favorite “modern day” player. She also loved the “tenaciousness and spirit” that Kevin Garnett brought to Boston and of course she mentions Paul Pierce “who gave this team everything he had for so long.” But if she had to pick one, it would be Bill Russell.
I would say that the player that I have the most admiration for of all time would be Bill Russell. He has accomplished so much as a player, as Celtics’ player/coach, and as a person that broke down barriers and personally overcame so many struggles growing up in the South to get where he was. I wish I could go back in time to sit in the stands and see him play. It’s great that Russell still visits the Celtics. I was glad he was finally honored in such a nice way last year.
Favorite Celtics moment? That’s easy-when she had the opportunity to meet Rajon Rondo at a fundraising game for President Obama in New York City back in 2012.
Rajon was participating, along with many other NBA players at a basketball fundraiser in NYC for Barack Obama’s re-election. I opened up an email which I almost deleted as spam from the Obama campaign, and then saw that it was an ad for the event. So then I obtained tickets for the ‘meet and greet’ part of the event. I was so thrilled that I was going to meet my favorite player. That afternoon began with Rajon and other players on his panel (John Wall, Brandon Nights, etc) speaking about their participation in the event and answering audience questions for about 20 minutes. After that, we had our posters autographed, and an opportunity to talk to the players,take a picture with them, and take a group picture. Knowing that I’d be meeting and speaking with Rondo made me nervous. But even though he was his usual “brooding self”, he was very lively, pleasant and humorous that day. We had a nice little conversation,. He asked me some questions about myself, and we chatted about our complaints about some of the press treatment he receives, and the fuss the press made that summer when he declared that he was the best point guard in the league.
And lastly, I asked El just what it is about the Celtics that make them so important to her..
Well, simply put.. I just love this team. They’ve played with so much heart and grit over the years, like the time that Rondo ran back into the game 2 in the playoffs against the Heat with a dislocated elbow, or a year ago when Garnett caused Carmelo Anthony to practically lose his mind during a game at MSG, that you just keep becoming endeared to this team. I also like that several of their young players show promise and want to complete; such as Sully, Kelly, and Avery. And there’s the new coach. I’d love for the Celtics to win another banner, but I’m patient to wait and let the rebuilding process unfold, which is like it’s own adventure to me. Also, I really like chatting with, and getting to know many of the Celtics’ fans, aka “CelticsNation” on Twitter. Two years ago I went on Twitter in order to talk with other Celtics fans after my family and friends threatened to disown me if I ever I brought up the Celtics to them ‘one more time’ lol. Since that time, I’ve met tons of great people from throughout the US and other countries around the world who share the same interests and love for this team. It’s been a great experience.
I want to give special thanks to Eleanor for participating, and be sure to follow her on Twitter. Thank you all for reading, and GO CELTICS! -KWAPT