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August 19, 2010

Baby on board

HAVERHILL — Glen "Big Baby" Davis once again lived up to his reputation as a fan favorite.

The 6-9, 289-pound Boston Celtic forward lifted a 1-year-old to dunk and belted out "I'm a Believer" from the Shrek soundtrack.

Big Baby and former Celtic star Cedric Maxwell were in Haverhill to make the dream of the Cassidy family come true yesterday afternoon.

Nancy Cassidy entered and won the RE/MAX-Celtics Homecourt Makeover essay contest. The prize was a state-of-the-art half-court paved basketball court in her backyard, sporting a Celtics logo, a ball rack and a scoreboard, along with a visit from Davis to baptize the court.

"I am thrilled," said Nancy. "I have never won anything. A friend of mine from work recommended I give it a shot, and I waited until the last day before it was due and had to write an essay and submit pictures (of the backyard hoop). I thought to myself, 'Why not?'"

Basketball, and a love of the Celtics, have always been a key part of the bond between the single mother (her husband died seven years ago) and her 11-year-old son Shane.

"I have loved the Celtics since the glory days of Larry Bird," said Nancy, who played basketball at Greater Lawrence Tech in the late '80s. "It's been such a joy to share that love with him. His love has really grown for the team. I wrote a story about my life and my family, and got a call first I was a finalist, then a winner.

"We just love Big Baby. I wish I could be on the Celtics' bus with him and Shaquille O'Neal. Imagine the fun they're going to have."

Nancy, Shane and his sister Meagan, 13, were presented with authentic "10" Celtics home jerseys with their names on the back, to the cheers of friends and family who crowded the yard.

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