Boston Celtics rookie Tremont Waters withstood unspeakable tragedy on Thursday with the death of his father, Ed, at 49.
Two days later, he’s back on the basketball court with the support of his family.
Waters returned to the starting lineup on Saturday in a Summer League matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies. According to the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy, Waters’ family flew in to Las Vegas to be with him during the emotional time.
Waters finished with 16 points on Saturday afternoon for the Celtics, shooting 6-of-17 from the field in 32 minutes. Boston, however, fell to the Grizzlies 94-88 — which eliminated them from the Summer League.
“From the Celtics side, from the top down everyone has offered and done as much as they can to help him, that’s obviously a lot more important than summer league basketball,” Celtics assistant coach Scott Morrison said, via the Boston Globe. “It was his choice to stay and play. He felt that was the best way he wanted to deal with it.
“I thought he played great, especially with all of those considerations. So we’re just here to support him and do all we can to help him. Just a really unfortunate situation.”
Waters’ father was found dead in a West Haven, Connecticut, hotel on Thursday, according to a report from WTNH. The police are investigating the untimely death after they were notified of an injured or ill person around noon, although a medical examiner ruled it a suicide on Friday.
The elder Waters was reportedly a key part of keeping Tremont grounded as his basketball career took off.
Waters was selected 51st overall in June’s NBA draft and signed a two-way contract with the Celtics on Tuesday. He is set to battle fellow second-rounder Carsen Edwards for a backup point guard role.
The 21-year-old was named Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year and All-SEC in 2019, and he averaged 15.3 points and 5.8 assists per game as a sophomore at LSU.
“All you can do is just pray for him,” Celtics forward Grant Williams said, via the Boston Globe. “No one can describe the feeling of losing your father. You just gotta be there for him for whatever he needs but I always try to take a step back and come to me if he needs anything.”
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