A Boston Celtics basketball player reminded the world Thursday night that in addition to being exceptional sportsmen, athletes are also human beings who endure pain and turmoil, just like the rest of us.
The Celtics defeated the Golden State Warriors in an impressive comeback victory to claim their 14th straight win this season.
However, the standout performance of the game belonged to Jaylen Brown, who played his heart out, scoring 22 points in the name of his childhood friend, who passed away.
Brown, 21, had just learned of the passing of his high school teammate and close friend, Trevin Steede, hours before the game. He was so devastated by the news that he didn’t think he could get through the game. He even notified his coach that he wasn’t sure if he could play, according to Ball is Life.
It wasn’t until he received a call from Steede’s mother encouraging him to play that he worked up the strength to take to the court that night. But Brown didn’t just play, he dominated.
“My best friend passed last night. It was tough to kind of accept it,” Brown said after the game. “Everybody was kind of in shock. But I knew coming into today that he would have wanted me to play. It was hard getting my thoughts together, but after talking to his mom and his family, they inspired me to come out and play.”
“I wasn’t in any shape to come out,” he continued. “I didn’t want to leave my room. But they inspired me to come out and play. And I came out and played in his spirit today. My teammates held me up and we pulled it out.”
Brown dedicated his remarkable performance to Steede, whose high school jersey number was 22.
Following the match, Brown was given the game ball by his teammate Kyrie Irving who embraced him and reportedly said, “This one was for Trevin.”
In the face of adversity and heartache, Brown showed perseverance. In addition to showing up for his team and his coaches, he was able to honor Steede with an incredible moment in his career.
Brown's resilience and ability to turn tragedy into triumph serves as an inspiration to anyone who is going through tough times.