Randolph: Celtics Forward Gordon Hayward Raises Over 2,000 Items for School Supply Drive

(Celtics forward Gordon Hayward and his wife Robyn sign autographs in Randolph Saturday)

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward and his wife Robyn sign autographs in Randolph Saturday (Photo Credit: Brendan Connelly)

 

RANDOLPH - There were many high hopes when Gordon Hayward signed a 4-year, $128 million contract with the Boston Celtics last summer.

However, the 2017-18 season would only last five minutes for the 28-year old, who suffered a horrific injury during which he sustained a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle in his left leg.

The journey since has been long, both physically and mentally, but as the Celtics open training camp this upcoming week, Hayward is preparing himself for what he is hoping will be his greatest season ever.

“It feels good,” Hayward said. “Been able to play some 5-on-5 the last couple of weeks, and looking forward to getting Training Camp started. And then to play next Friday (against Charlotte). It’s hard to believe. But we’ll be ready.”

While he is hoping to work his way back toward making an impact on the team itself, Hayward is also looking to continue helping the local community, and Saturday was the latest example. For nearly two hours, Hayward and his wife Robyn sat outside Randolph Community Middle School signing autographs, as they looked to draw traffic to a school supply drive.

Hundreds wait at Randolph Community Middle School to meet Hayward Saturday (Photo Credit: Brendan Connelly)

Hundreds wait at Randolph Community Middle School to meet Hayward Saturday (Photo Credit: Brendan Connelly)

As early as 10:30 a.m. Saturday, fans and residents began to pull up to the school with bags of items, simply hoping to help the cause.

In total, the Celtics and Randolph volunteers would go on to raise a total of 2,000 supplies for the Randolph public school system, filling an entire room with notebooks, folders, pens, pencils and more for students.

“We are so excited,” Randolph superintendent Dr. Angela Burke said. “Because so many people came through today, and showed how much they care about Randolph, as well as Gordon.”

Hayward originally challenged fans to show their support through simply donating. The first 250 to show, and those who donated 20 or more items would receive an autographed photo.

The turnout proved to be more than anyone could have expected.

“This time of year, you’re thinking about going back to school,” Hayward said. “For us, I can remember getting super excited for school supplies, and you don’t realize some of the people that can’t afford that stuff. Also not just the students, but the teachers too…We feel like its important to get back out into the community, and do stuff like this.”

The Celtics meanwhile will open camp this upcoming Tuesday. Both Hayward and point guard Kyrie Irving are expected to make a return after having last season prematurely ended by injury.

“For me, it’s something where Coach (Brad) Stevens will put us in position to be successful.” Hayward said. “I have no doubt about that. He’s done that throughout his career, and when I was at Butler too. I just look at it as we just have a lot of weapons, lot of talent. I’m going to do whatever I can to help us win. That’s my only goal, and to let him worry about the other stuff.”

About Brendan Connelly

Brendan Connelly, a lifetime native of Scituate, comes to WATD via the University of Massachusetts, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. During his time in Amherst, Brendan worked extensively with the University’s Radio Station WMUA 91.1 FM, in their sports department as a Broadcaster and Reporter. He also wrote for the Northampton-based periodical, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, in their Sports Department. Following his graduation in May 2014, Brendan applied at WATD, and was then hired a few weeks later as a Sales Executive. Shortly thereafter, he would gradually work his way into the Sports Department, becoming a weekly host on the Sports Exchange with Bill Wilhelm. One year later, Brendan officially took over the Morning Sports with Rob & Lisa, giving updates on Local High School Sports News Tuesdays through Fridays. Brendan still consistently sells advertising space as well for WATD, and helps Bill Wilhelm’s team at sporting events as a commentator. During his career with WATD, Brendan has had the opportunity to interview the likes of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Zdeno Chara, and many more. Outside the station, Brendan also works as a Sports Writer for the Boston Herald, who hired his services one month following WATD. Brendan has also interned as a broadcaster for the Brockton Rox, which he completed during the summer of 2012.