The Boston Celtics and the USO once again partnered for their “Seats for Soldiers” program to bring an unforgettable experience to service members and their families – locally and abroad.
Celtics’ season ticket holders, partners and sponsors generously donated more than 1,000 tickets to service members in every branch of the military. Those in attendance for the game on Nov. 14 were given the opportunity to participate in a pregame high-five tunnel, halftime skills competition and postgame shootaround. Additionally, the Celtics donated a portion of the 50/50 raffle to the USO.
This year’s designated “Hero Among Us” was Lt. Connor Gagliardi a weapons officer onboard the Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS North Dakota. Lt. Gagliardi and the USS North Dakota crew recently returned from a seven-month deployment where they traveled more than 40,000 nautical miles. During this deployment, Lt. Gagliardi missed the birth of his second child. He was recognized at the game for his leadership and sacrifice. Many of his USS North Dakota crewmates were in attendance as well and enjoyed the game from a suite and earned a shoutout on TD Garden’s jumbotron.
The Celtics went above and beyond to make high school students and athletes at Yokota High School, located on Yokota Air Force Base in Japan, a part of the celebration. In collaboration with USO Indo-Pacific, the Celtics set up a virtual experience for the high school’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. The student-athletes were able to watch the team’s warmups and interacted with numerous coaches and players who stopped by to say hello.
Yokota High School Assistant Principal Jason Goodwin said, “Thank you so much for your efforts to make such a memorable moment for our young student-athletes. They were buzzing around the school all day long, and the positivity from the Boston Celtics was so inspiring and uplifting.”
The USO is grateful to partner with organizations like the Boston Celtics who deliver unique experiences to service members and their loved ones.
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