Celtics in Newport


Champions will prepare in Newport

By Josh Krueger
Newport Daily News staff

NEWPORT — First Rome, then London and now Newport.

Before winning banner No. 17 in June, the Boston Celtics went overseas for training camp as part of the NBA Europe Live tour, making stops in Italy and England and playing in two exhibition games.

The Celtics again will get away from Boston for training camp leading into the 2008-09 season, but they’ll be coming to Newport — specifically, Salve Regina University.

The deal to have the Celtics train at Salve is all but done, according to Kristine Hendrickson, Salve’s associate vice president for university relations and chief communications officer.

“We’ve agreed to make our facilities available to them,” Hendrickson said. “At this point in time, we haven’t received an official contract from them.

“They’ve announced they’re coming here, but we don’t have an official, signed contract. We expect it to be coming shortly.”

A call to the team’s media relations office on Friday was not immediately returned. According to published reports, the team will report on Sept. 29 and begin practice the next day.

The Celtics held training camp in Burlington, Vt., in 2004, their first season under coach Doc Rivers. Rivers said on the team’s Web site before last year’s trip that he likes to get away early to build team camaraderie.

“We did it the first year when I was here, and we had a lot of success that season,” Rivers said. “I’ve always been a fan of getting a group away, especially if it’s a group where there’s a lot of changes involved.”

Hendrickson said the Celtics organization approached the university about the possibility of holding training camp there.

Danny Ainge, the Celtics executive director of basketball operations and general manager, visited Salve in February and toured the school’s Rodgers Recreation Center with then-athletic director Del Malloy and sports information director Ed Habershaw.

Ainge, Hendrickson said, “liked Newport. They looked at a number of different facilities and chose ours.”

The training camp would wrap up in early October, Hendrickson added.

“We’re assuming they will be here,” she said.

She said she wasn’t sure of the times of day the team would use the Rodgers Center.

“We don’t have a contract, so we’re not sure how it’s all going to play out,” she said. “Once we get signed contract, we’ll be able to meet with the organization and finalize all the details.”

Send sportswriter Josh Krueger e-mail at Krueger@NewportRI.com.


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