Gerard Coleman, Scott Eatherton Give Celtics’ Draft Workout Boston Feel


May 29, 2015

WALTHAM, Mass. — Six NBA hopefuls made the journey to the Boston Celtics’ training facility Friday for a pre-draft workout.

For a couple of them, it wasn’t much of a trip.

Two players with Boston ties worked out for the hometown team Friday: Gerard Coleman, a native of the city’s Mattapan neighborhood, and Scott Eatherton, who recently completed his senior season at Northeastern.

Both aren’t exactly sought-after prospects — in fact, it’ll be stunning if either is drafted — but teams often use these pre-draft visits as a way of scoping out local talent that might go overlooked by fellow NBA clubs.

“Gerard, I saw him play in high school,” Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge said of the lanky, 6-foot-4 guard who attended West Roxbury High and competed on the AAU circuit under the tutelage of BABC coach and former Celtics front-office employee Leo Papile.

Papile, who also coached current Celtic Phil Pressey during the point guard’s AAU days, was the one who scored Coleman an invite to the session.

“Leo called and said, ‘Hey, can you get Gerard in if you have any openings,’ ” Ainge said. “We had a guy drop out, so we said, ‘Hey, let’s call Gerard in.’ We like to help local guys out when we can, and I think he might be the first guy we’ve had in for a draft workout with a Boston Bruins tattoo. It was good to have him in.”

Coleman, who made stops at Providence and Gonzaga before finishing his collegiate career at Georgetown College, an NAIA school in Kentucky, does proudly display the spoked-B on his left shoulder, but it’s clear his childhood affection was directed more toward the shamrock.

When asked how it felt to practice on the Celtics’ court, the 24-year-old hearkened back to the early days of his C’s fandom — specifically, Boston’s memorable Eastern Conference finals matchup against Jason Kidd and the then-New Jersey Nets.

“The early days (against) the Nets, 2002 — bleed green, you know?,” Coleman said. “It’s an honor just to be wearing this color right now, you know? I’m very appreciative right now. … I’m just an all-Boston guy. Of course the Celtics. I don’t really watch hockey games, but when (the Bruins) make it far in the playoffs — you know what I mean? Boston pride.”

Eatherton doesn’t share that lifelong love of Boston sports — he hails from Pennsylvania — but the 6-foot-9 forward said he’s certainly followed the Celtics since transferring to Northeastern in 2012.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “I’m fortunate enough to live in Boston, so I’ve watched the games for the past three years, go to games every once in a while, and I’ve watched them go from losing what they had before to where they came now. So, it’s been a lot of fun for me and a great experience to work out in front of them.”

And Eatherton didn’t even have to adjust his schedule to attend what as of Friday was his only scheduled NBA workout.

“Scott’s actually been working out at the health club here (in Waltham) every day,” Ainge said. “And he’s been working hard, and he had a great career at Northeastern, so it’s good to have him in and let him get that experience.”

Thumbnail photo via Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports Images

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