Celtics Coach Brad Stevens Misses Game to Visit Former Player Battling Cancer

brad stevens andrew smith

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens left the team on Thursday morning and missed Thursday night’s 101-92 loss to the Bulls in Chicago.

The reason? Stevens was arrested, and he did not check into rehab…Just kidding.  The real reason is he returned to his home state of Indiana to visit a former player battling cancer.

“He makes it very clear to our players on a day-to-day basis that family is the most important,” explained Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga. And apparently Stevens considers Butler Bulldogs center Andrew Smith family.

Smith played for Stevens on the Bulldogs teams that reached back-to-back National Championship games in 2010 and 2011. According to the Indianapolis Star, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in January 2014. However, Smith recently took a turn for the worse. He was admitted to the hospital for a bone marrow transplant on Thursday, and his wife, Samantha, took to Twitter with an emotional plea for prayers:

At that point, Stevens dropped everything so he could go support his former player. And it was very much appreciated.

Andrew Smith’s father, Curt, took to Twitter to thank Brad Stevens publicly:

If you’re the praying type, send a few of them on over to Andrew Smith and his family.

Hat Tip – [ESPN]

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