Jaylen Brown couldn’t stop smiling.
With DaBaby’s “Suge” booming through the speakers inside a ballroom at Encore Boston Harbor, his teammate Marcus Smart had attracted quite a crowd. Brown, wearing a two-toned suit he designed himself, was among those eagerly encouraging Smart, as the 6-foot-4 shooting guard “hit the woah” and busted his best moves for an intimate dance circle.
Smart’s impromptu performance was one of the highlights from Brown’s first community gala, hosted Saturday night at the city’s new casino. The event raised money for the Boys & Girls Club of Boston, the No Books No Ball Basketball Program, and Smart’s YounGameChanger Foundation. Brown said he was inspired to put on the event because he wanted to “give a shoutout” to the community.
“I’ve learned a lot here in the city of Boston,” the soon-to-be 23-year-old explained. “People would argue 18-23 are some of the most important years in terms of finding out who you are [and] developing yourself and who you’re going to be in this world. I got to give Boston that credit.”
Auction items included a dinner with 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall and an autographed canvas of Brown dunking on Giannis Antetokounmpo during last season’s playoffs.
Dorchester native and Celtics superfan Donnie Wahlberg donated $10,000, in addition to $10,000 on behalf of his brother Mark and another $5,000 on behalf of his brother Paul. Wahlberg even took the mic to address the crowd, celebrating his friendship with Brown and expressing his support for the team.
Nearly the entire Celtics roster made an appearance, as did co-owner Steve Pagliuca; assistant coaches Jermone Allen and Jamie Young; and Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, Duron Harmon, and Deatrich Wise Jr. of the Patriots.
Nicole Yang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org