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CP3, Warriors supporting Celebrini family during NHL draft process

CP3, Warriors supporting Celebrini family during NHL draft process originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO -- All eyes are on Macklin Celebrini, and that includes a few prominent members of the Golden State Warriors organization.

The young center is expected to be selected by the hometown San Jose Sharks with the first overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, and his father, Rick, the Warriors vice president of player health and performance, is receiving support from a handful of players and coaches.

Shortly after San Jose was awarded the No. 1 pick in Tuesday's draft lottery, Rick received a phone call from one of the Warriors' veteran players.

"Yeah, I got a call from Chris Paul last night," Celebrini told reporters in a press conference Wednesday at Chase Center. "He was driving home with his wife and called me when he heard the news and got texts from the other guys and talked to the guys this morning. It's really cool."

Macklin has spent time with his father at the Warriors facility and even has developed a relationship with veteran forward Draymond Green over the years. Rick believes his son can learn a lot from Golden State's championship core, led by coach Steve Kerr, as he begins his professional journey.

"That's the beauty of this organization, just players, coaches and staff, everyone's so supportive and family-oriented that it's been incredible the support," Celebrini said. "Obviously, I think Draymond has a really good connection with Macklin, specifically and constantly asking about Mack and I think they have a really good relationship.

"I think the exposures that [the Celebrini kids] had were really positive and really impactful just by being around guys like Steve Kerr, Steph Curry, Draymond, Klay [Thompson] and the group. So when they did come in, just the welcomeness that they felt, the incredible people they were exposed to, I think it was more the quality of their exposure than the quantity."

The elder Celebrini has plenty of experience in professional sports. Rick played in the Canadian Soccer League and the APSL in the '90s and has worked with the Vancouver Canucks, the Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club and the Warriors as a physiotherapist.

He believes that Macklin growing up around professional sports only will benefit his son in the NHL.

"I think my time in Vancouver with the Canucks and the Whitecaps and certainly down here, for Macklin and all the kids to be around it, it just normalizes it a little bit," Celebrini added. "It just takes the mystique away from it and they see behind the curtain so to speak and see the hard work and what really goes into it.

"I do think it does help prepare them and I think it's a valuable experience for any young person."

Macklin, one of the most highly touted NHL prospects in years, will have plenty of eyes on him as he begins his professional career. And it's safe to say many within the Warriors organization will follow along and offer their support wherever they can.

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