On the Precipice of a Critical Clippers Season, Doc Rivers Takes a Trip to Boston

Doc Rivers is coming back to Boston.

The current head coach of the Clippers, who signed 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard in the most impressive offseason in the NBA, will return to the city in which he won his lone NBA title as he prepares to win another. Rivers will make the journey back for the annual Hoop Dreams charity event he spearheads with anti-poverty agency Action for Boston Community Development, known around the city as ABCD.

“The work ABCD does really tugs at your heart,” said Rivers, who left the Celtics for a promotion with the Clippers following the 2013 season. “Once I get involved, I’ve always wanted to stay involved.”

Rivers has helped oversee the charity basketball tournament since its inception in 2011, and he is cautiously optimistic that this year’s affair will raise over $100,000. All of the money from Hoops Dreams will go directly into programs to serve at-risk youth throughout the city of Boston.

“The youth-based activities are just so important,” said Rivers, who drew connection to his childhood in Chicago. “I was lucky, I had two loving parents, but there are at-risk kids in every city and every town. Some of these kids don’t have parents. I was awake—my father was ‘the father’ of half my friends, too. The kids all hung out at my house, and my dad was the father figure for all of these kids that didn’t have a father.

“My dad made a difference by being there, and I’m trying to raise awareness and raise funds for these kids. That’s what drew me to ABCD, and I’m amazed by the number of under-advantaged people they can reach and touch. Even when I left Boston, I felt strongly this was something I needed to be a part of.”

Doc Rivers
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The Celtics have ties to a number of other charities, but the connection to ABCD started as a direct link through Rivers. It didn’t take long for the Celtics and their venue, the TD Garden, to also see ABCD’s value—Garden president Amy Latimer allows use of the Celtics’ parquet floor for the event. This year, due to the Garden being unavailable, it will take place at the team’s training facility at the Auerbach Center in Boston on Sept. 3, and will also include Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.