How a family of Celtics fans bought Marcus and Maisa Smart’s Boston-area home

NBA players are often larger than life. Fans marvel at their talents, their athleticism, and their charisma. And meeting a favorite player, is an incredible experience. We all remember our first autograph, handshake, or chance to see our sports heroes in the flesh. 

Katherine Greaney and her family have taken that fan dynamic to a new extreme. These dedicated Boston Celtics fans spent years rooting for their favorite player, Marcus Smart. As they would describe it, the Greaneys are Marcus Smart superfans, and have always admired his winning plays on the court and charity work off it. Now, the Greaney family just closed on a deal to buy the Smart’s former home in the Boston suburbs, a surreal experience for Katherine and her children. 

Marcus and his wife Maisa spent years building the house into a dream home. The Smarts told Celtics Wire it made them happy to find the right family when it came to selling the property after Marcus was traded this past summer. Oddly enough, the story began at a bowling alley.

“The house is very special,” Marcus and Maisa said. “We’re happy it went to a family like the Greaneys.”

Marcus was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in June 2023 after nine seasons with the Celtics. The move caught the Smarts by complete surprise. Things happen quickly when you’re dealt in the NBA, and a player and his family must begin making pragmatic decisions after news breaks while also navigating different waves of emotion.

One choice Smart made early on was to double-down on his charitable commitments to Boston and the surrounding area that summer despite the trade. With his Young Game Changer Foundation, Smart spent his time in a Celtics uniform doing everything from hosting basketball camps and Pro Ams to providing entertainment to pediatric hospital patients through his Smart Carts program

Smart had a number of events on the calendar for the 2023 offseason, including a private bowling session with the Greaney family. Katherine had won the chance to bowl with Marcus and Maisa as a charitable auction item at Smart’s annual Bowling Bash back in November 2022. Smart wasn’t going to renege on this either, even after the trade.

“He really cares,” Greaney told Celtics Wire. “He cares about the families at the hospitals, and trying to make sure they can have an easier time when they are there and supported in every way. At the bowling events he made sure everyone felt welcome.”

Kathy first met Marcus and Maisa at that November bowling event, an annual fundraising tradition for the Young Game Changer Foundation. Greaney recalled Smart took the time to greet everyone in attendance. Soon after he got to talking to her, the Texas native was FaceTiming her children and sharing laughs.

“He really likes to be a kid,” Greaney continued. “He laughs with them, he really attracts them. At any game we’ve been to, we would always notice Marcus staying after the game to talk to a child or sign an autograph or something. If a kid grabbed him or said hi, he would stop and give them a hug or talk to them as a person.”

“He has always been a very approachable guy,” she added. “He’s very warm and has a big heart. Same as Maisa.”

(Photo by Claire Kotzampaltiris)
(Photo by Claire Kotzampaltiris)

Greaney and her family were always been big fans of Smart. But his warmth that night encouraged her to bid on a chance to bowl privately with Marcus and Maisa. This was set to take place during the tail end of the summer of 2023, which is how the possibility of a home sale came into play.

“I had already started looking,” Greaney said. “This was around when we were bowling, and unfortunately we had heard the news that he had been traded.”

“Maisa and I began to just have a casual conversation. I told her we were looking. And one thing led to another, and we made plans to see the house. From there, we fell in love with it. If you ask the kids, they would say right there on the spot we knew it was the right place.”

Marcus and Maisa bought the house on the south side of Newton in 2021. Afterward, they underwent two renovations to help create something special. It was the spot where Marcus proposed to Maisa in December 2022, and it was designed to be something everlasting. 

The Celtics front office had different plans, however. After losing to the Miami Heat in seven games in the East Finals, Boston was poised to shuffle the deck. And while initial reports suggested it was Malcolm Brodgon who would be traded in early June, a late push by Memphis saw Smart headed to the Grizzlies. Suddenly the future Marcus and Maisa had envisioned looked a little different.

“If I’m being quite frank, I knew I would be traded eventually,” Smart said in October of this year. “Just figured it would be the next season, just based off my contract and with the new CBA. We already knew that. But it was just the way it happened.”

“I was told everything was good after asking multiple times,” Smart said. “Like, ‘I’m hearing (rumors), what’s going on?’ And they’re like, ‘No, you’re good, you’re good, you’re good.’ And then when I do hear about the trade, it’s from Shams (Charania) on Twitter before I hear from the team.”

As Marcus and Maisa prepared to head to Memphis ahead of the 2023-24 season this fall, they also started the process of selling their home. This meant working with realtor Claire Kotzampaltiris, who helped the couple initially purchase the estate in Newton, one of Boston’s most affluent suburbs. They originally purchased the home in 2021 for $5.55 million. After successive rounds of renovations, the property sold for $7.1 million in January of this year. 

According to Kotzampaltiris, who has worked with other Celtics players for buying and selling homes in the area, the Smarts worked hard to try to turn their property into a dream home.

“Money was not spared in order to transform this home into the magazine-ready modern centerpiece that it became,” Kotzampaltiris said. “Pine Cone Construction, who did the original build and who is a luxury builder in the Newton area, was hired to do the renovation. The home renovation was mainly designed by Maisa Smart and with the help of Pine Cone Construction. The interior was transformed into a warm, modern, and luxurious oasis fit for NBA elite”.

“When I play basketball, I definitely model how I play on how Smart does,” David, 16, said. “I was always really defense-heavy, and I always wanted to prioritize defense. And when he won Defensive Player of the Year, it really did motivate me.”

“I do miss him in Boston,” David added. “But I know he’s doing great in Memphis, and I just feel really blessed to have met him.”

David’s brother Conor, 15, shared the same sentiment.

“I think that when I’m playing basketball,” Conor said. “I think about the energy that he plays with on the court. I always try to come out with a lot of energy for my teammates and I always try to replicate that part of his game.”

The Greaneys will continue to root for Marcus from afar. Both David and Conor said they find themselves checking out Grizzlies box scores to see how Smart played. They’ve already got their calendars marked for February 4, when Smart and Maisa make their return to Boston.

Marcus recently told Andscape’s Marc J. Spears that he’s looking forward to the date as well.

“I can’t wait to get back there to see those guys,” Smart said of his old teammates. “See those fans in the Gardens and get on the court.”

“Those fans are phenomenal there,” Smart said of an emotional return to Boston. “When they love you, they love you. And I think that comes with just the history that Boston has of winning and they win and they love hard and they hate to lose. So, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the reaction from those fans.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire