PORTLAND, Maine — Boston Celtics forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis will return to Maine Thursday for the groundbreaking for two new basketball courts in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood.
The pro basketball player was last seen in the Pine Tree State in late June, when he tagged along with Phippsburg lobsterman Richard Gilmore as part of a promotion for GetMaineLobster.com’s high end Captain’s Club program.
On Thursday, Davis, who helped the Celtics win the NBA Championship in 2008 as a rookie, will go from hauling traps to shoveling dirt — ceremonially, anyway.
After visiting the state in June, Davis told followers of his Twitter account he was surprised by Maine’s natural beauty, in Tweet-speak, of course.
“I didn’t know Maine was so pretty,” he announced at the time. “I love Maine.”
Joining “Big Baby” at the Thursday groundbreaking will be Portland Mayor Nicholas Mavodones, Acting Police Chief Michael Sauschuck, representatives of the East Bayside Neighborhood Organization and Diane Nason, board president of local teen drug and alcohol abuse prevention organization DayOne.
The two courts will cost an estimated $80,000, according to a city announcement Wednesday and will be funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as secured through the city’s Community Development Block Grant program. The project is scheduled to be completed late this fall.
“When sports are accessible to all, they can be a great equalizer and uniting force within a neighborhood,” said Mavodones in a statement released by the city. “Without question, the new courts are going to have a positive impact on the community. Whether it’s a scrimmage with friends, a pick-up game with local police officers or a heated tournament, these courts are going to help build relationships and invigorate the neighborhood.”
The groundbreaking is slated to take place at 4:45 p.m. at the 90 Anderson Street location. The new courts will replace smaller, older courts in the neighborhood, according to the city announcement.