PORTLAND, Ore. — Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas has been very involved in community work both in Boston and in his hometown of Tacoma, Wash. And on Friday, with the team having a scheduled off day, Thomas traveled from Portland to nearby Tacoma to commemorate the grand opening of “Isaiah Thomas Court” at a Boys & Girls Club in the city.
“Ever since I was a little boy I wanted a gym,” Thomas said. “I see Jamal Crawford has an outdoor court up in Seattle, and you see guys from around the country having their own gyms. That’s something I always wanted, so for it to happen is a blessing.”
Thomas, who received the NBA’s Community Assist Award in December, said his parents, wife, and children would be at the ribbon-cutting, along with numerous friends and family members.
The court has Thomas’s own logo on it, and the gym is surrounded by various jerseys from Thomas’s basketball past. Also, on the walls there is a purple line painted at Thomas’s well-known height: 5 feet, 9 inches. Thomas contributed $80,000 to this $150,000 project, with Lowe’s and the NBA Players Association covering the rest.
Since Seattle does not have an NBA team anymore, the Celtics’ annual stop in Portland is as close as Thomas gets to home during the season. He received a noticeable ovation when he was introduced prior to Boston’s game on Thursday night.
“Tacoma made me who I am, so every time I step on the floor I represent that city,” he said. “Being back here felt like home. It was raining when we got here — cloudy, gloomy — so it felt like home and was good to see family and friends in the stands.”