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Horford recalls ‘enlightening' meeting with Brady about health regimen

Horford recalls ‘enlightening' meeting with Brady about health regimen originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Al Horford is inching closer to the big 4-0, but you wouldn't know it just by watching him on the court.

The Boston Celtics big man still looks spry at the age of 37 and is playing a key role for the best team in the NBA. He has stated his desire to play at least until age 40 and at this rate, there's no reason to believe he'll have any problem reaching that impressive milestone.

On Thursday, Horford opened up about his longevity and explained how three legendary athletes inspired him to take better care of his body.

“Tom Brady, I was following him a lot, seeing what he’s doing and seeing what Cristiano Ronaldo’s doing and seeing what LeBron (James) is doing and just reading about it and seeing if something kind of can benefit me and if it can go into some of the things that I want to do and kind of go from there," Horford told reporters. "For me, it’s always keeping an open mind and really looking at those examples and seeing how I can be better myself.”

Horford is in the midst of his 17th NBA season and his second stint with the C's. Earlier in his career, he met Brady at a TB12 facility in Boston while playing for the Atlanta Hawks. He credits that "really enlightening" meeting with helping him think differently about his diet.

“With Tom, I was really impressed always with his regimen, with his food regimen and how he went about it. Obviously, he takes it to a much bigger extreme than I would,” Horford said of the seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback. “I do like to eat a little bit of everything. But that discipline goes a long way and that’s something that my first time here in Boston I started to pick some of those things up and could kind of follow it. Staying away from certain foods on game day and just little things like that, things that kind of can give you a little edge.”

With Kristaps Porzingis now the Celtics' starting center, Horford is embracing a bench role for the first time in his career. Through 39 games (19 starts), he's averaging 7.7 points and 6.8 rebounds with a 48.3 shooting percentage (41.3 percent from 3) in 27.1 minutes.