EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

August 11, 2009

Celtics present North Andover foster mom with new court

NORTH ANDOVER— Marquiese Wilson's passion for basketball, his adoration of the Celtics and his worship for his all-time favorite Paul Pierce demanded an upgrade.

His mother, Ginny, with assists to Boston Celtics guard Eddie House and legend Cedric Maxwell, came to the rescue.

Ginny, a single foster parent, entered and won the RE/MAX-Celtics Homecourt Makeover. The top prize — a customized, state-of-the-art fullcourt, driveway basketball setup completed with custom Celtics logos, scoreboard and ball rack — was personally delivered to the Wilson's Boxford Road home yesterday by House and Maxwell.

"This is totally amazing," said Ginny, who has six grown children and currently watches over Marquiese (12), Joseph Wood (8), Jeffrey Rosario (9) and Christopher O'Keefe (3).

"I guess they liked what I wrote in my essay. I would never have believed something like this would happen.

"(Marquiese) is totally engrossed in basketball. Before school in the morning, as soon as he gets off the bus, before he goes to bed at night, in the rain or anything, he plays basketball."

And now Marquiese and his friends can do it in style.

"It's very nervous and exciting," said Marquiese, who will be a seventh-grader at the North Andover Middle School in September. "I've played a lot of basketball this summer. To have something like this happen, wow."

House, a backup shooting guard and world champion with Boston in 2008, was more than happy to share some joy in the game he loves with the 15 youngsters gathered.

After a short ceremony, in which he and Maxwell delivered a customized, authentic "09" Celtics home jersey to Marquiese, House talked quickly about shooting the basketball and the key to his success, balance.

"I was more than happy to do it," said House. "You have to push everything aside for something like this. These youngsters get memories you have forever. It's special."

After christening the new court, House and Maxwell headed over to the Joseph Herman Youth Center where they directed a clinic on the game.

"It's just a great day," said Maxwell, the veteran of a pair of Celtics' championships in the 1980s and currently the team's radio color analyst. "I'm so happy just to be a part of it."

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