Marcus Smart wants his illness to educate others – Boston Herald

Posted: March 22, 2020 at 4:44 am


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Shortly before Marcus Smart was told he had tested positive for the coronavirus, social media was jammed with footage of young twentysomethings on the beaches of Florida and Georgia, adding a whole new, dark meaning to spring break.

The Celtics guard was alarmed, knowing he was asymptomatic and had no idea who might have spread it to him, or where he might have passed it on. His first thought was about reaching youth.

Smart quickly posted a video announcement of his situation on Twitter Thursday night as a kind of oral finger wag at those who didnt take the growing pandemic seriously.

His big deal, No. 1 priority, was to get to younger kids to realize this was serious and quit congregating, said Kenny Boren, Smarts high school coach and the director of his youth basketball camps. He kind immediately thought he wanted to use it as a platform to bring self-awareness to people.

Marcus biggest gift is when hes around kids, he said. Not ironic when he got it was that his first thoughts were that we had to get people on board with this, teenagers and 20-year-olds, we have to get them to understand the severity of how they can be spreaders of this kind of thing and how it can affect them.

It obviously hasnt affected Marcus he has no symptoms but thats not fair to other people it could affect who have lower immune systems. Theres no way to know where this is going. It could affect people of younger ages if it gets going bad.

Smart, who quarantined himself immediately after getting tested on the morning of March 15, is in typically good spirits where his own health is concerned.

Its Marcus, so hes pretty even-keeled, said Boren. His highs arent too high and his lows arent too low, so hes just going about his business at home, playing video games, video chatting with friends. The great thing he did, and the rest of the Celtics who were on that road trip, is that they landed and self-quarantined right away. That was a very smart move.

Then they got tested Sunday morning, he said. Luckily when they landed he self-quarantined. He could have started his day count when they landed, but just for extra safety he started it from the time he was tested. Just for added security, its 14 days, but hes added blanket security into it.

Smarts confidence is bolstered by a relatively new life as a practicing vegan. He has a personal chef, and has gradually weaned himself off all animal products.

One hundred percent thats going to help him, said Boren. Thats the story everyone has to know, is that what to eat, what you put into your body is critical for fighting off bacteria and infections.

I was there at his last weigh-in, and he was 219 Saturday a couple of weeks ago, so hes been in the greatest shape of his life, and a lot of that has to do with his diet, he said. Hes really studied the whole vegan route. He wouldnt classify himself as 100 percent switched over, but hes been making that transition. Hes got me interested in it, Im not going to lie. Hes told me some things that have kind of changed what Ive been doing.

The least of Smarts concerns appears to be the source of his illness. The Celtics were originally tested due to the proximity of their March 6 game to the announcement that Jazz center Rudy Gobert (followed by teammate Donovan Mitchell) had tested positive for coronavirus.

But as Detroit, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and the L.A. Lakers have all made announcements concerning infected players and staff members, its become clear to Smart that the virus is so wide-spread, its also impossible to pinpoint.

Theres no possible way for him to know. You can assume it may have been the Utah Jazz, but I think he realizes theres no possible way for any of us to know who you contracted it from, said Boren. You could be up all day wondering about that. But the reality is this is such a crazy situation.

Thats the reason he wanted to self-announce because this is so crazy. You have no clue how you contract something like this, he said. Turning this into a vehicle is exactly what he loves to do how hes used this whole thing. He was very quick in saying he wanted to put out the video. He wanted this to be a platform, and thats been his whole focus.

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Marcus Smart wants his illness to educate others - Boston Herald

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March 22nd, 2020 at 4:44 am

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