Merrimac resident Jim Young stood in the same gym as Celtics great Cedric Maxwell and starting guard Avery Bradley yesterday, and singled out his son, Griffin, as the role model in the room.
Griffin, 11, was the guest of honor yesterday as more than 50 youth basketball players and just as many parents attended a free clinic at Donaghue School hosted by Maxwell and Bradley. Earlier in the day, as part of the RE/MAX New England “Home Court” makeover, the Young family’s driveway was reconstructed into a basketball court, and Griffin’s room was overhauled into a shrine to the Celtics.
The Youngs earned the opportunity after the father, Jim, had his essay for the RE/MAX contest selected as one of three winners of the “Home Court” makeover. Young lost both of his arms after a near-fatal accident on the job as a electric lineman in September 2010. He was electrocuted by 13,800 volts after coming in contact with live wires. He remained in a coma at Mass. General Hospital for three weeks and later required 11 surgeries, including the amputation of both arms.
“I got shocked with 13,000 volts, so I’m lucky to be alive,” Young said. “My family has been there for me. Hence, I wrote an essay about Griffin, which basically said that he helps out in any way possible. He’s been there for me emotionally. He’s done everything he’s been asked to do. As a father, it’s great to see your son act that way.”
Griffin, a sixth-grader at the Donaghue School who plays in the Pentucket travel basketball league, now has a collection of Celtics Fathead decals over his bedroom wall, as well as a host of youth basketball players grateful for his commitment to his family. Parents and players alike took turns thanking Griffin on their way out of the gym at the conclusion of yesterday’s clinic, causing the sixth-grader to bristle at the notion that his behavior led to a visit from Maxwell, Bradley and “Lucky,” the Celtics mascot.