A.J. Reeves, a 6-foot-6 guard from Roxbury, told Boston.com he will play for the Celtics in the NBA Summer League.
Reeves, the Gatorade Player of the Year in Massachusetts in 2017-18, shined at Brimmer and May in Newton and at Providence College. He grew up a huge Celtics fan and fondly remembers watching the 2008 team win a title.
He said it was “almost surreal” going through the draft process with the Celtics. Boston was his first workout, and he was already home at the time, so he felt more comfortable than he otherwise would have. When the Celtics informed him they had a spot for him, he was overwhelmed and incredibly grateful.
“The emotion just flooded me,” Reeves said. “I’m still excited right now. I can’t even speak.”
Reeves averaged 9.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in four years with the Friars and leaves sixth all-time in 3-point field goals made with 191. He helped Providence capture its first Big East regular-season title and reach its first Sweet 16 in 25 seasons.
He’s the definition of a hometown kid, and he wants to make sure he’s more than a short-lived, feel-good story. While he plans to enjoy the experience — and perhaps play a game of blackjack or two in Las Vegas — he doesn’t want to squander the moment.
The Celtics open play July 9, and he plans to play his game and trust what’s gotten him here. While he would love to play for the Celtics, he’d be overjoyed to earn a spot anywhere in the NBA. He knows this is an audition for every team.
“The first thing that went through my mind was happiness,” Reeves said. “Then it was more so a feeling of, ‘All right, my foot’s in the door. Now I’m trying to take advantage of this opportunity.’ I don’t know how many I’m going to get.”
Trevor Hass can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.