BOSTON, Massachusetts, September 27. ANOTHER basketball star is making a connection to the pool, as Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass has signed up to take swimming lessons in the middle of preparing for the new National Basketball Association’s season.
According to an article published today in the Boston Globe, Bass, 28, is taking lessons so he can be as water safe as his 6-year-old son Brandon Jr. Growing up in New Orleans, the elder Bass said he never had an opportunity to learn to swim, but will now splash about with children at the Boys & Girls Club of Boston.
“My son’s the first one in the family to learn how to swim,” Bass said. “If you threw me out in the ocean, I would drown.”
Sadly, the Boys & Girls Club of Boston did not have a learn-to-swim program until the club’s executive director of operations learned that a child died from drowning in 2011 in Maine.
“We felt like we weren’t doing our best job if we weren’t teaching this basic life skill,” said Jerry Steimel.
As is the case all over the country, African-Americans still rank as the ethnic group most likely to experience drowning deaths, as about 70 percent of black children do not know how to swim.
In addition to wanting to learn to swim as well as his son, Bass told the Boston Globe that he needs to learn to swim because his new home has a pool, and he bought a Jet Ski that he plans to use with his son.
“I just feel as the man of the house, I need to learn to swim,” he said.
Bass can get some swimming pointers from a famous teammate. Kris Humphries was a star swimmer in his younger years, holding national age group records in sprint freestyle in the 10-and-under age group. And when the Celtics play against the San Antonio Spurs, Bass might want to hear from Tim Duncan, who was a competitive swimmer with promise in the U.S. Virgin Islands before basketball called him away from the pool.
Full text of Boston Globe article