Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

February 13, 2014

Michael Briggs, 16-year-old with Down's syndrome, inspires while playing the sports he loves for Andover High

Briggs inspires on, off court as member of JV hoops team

(Continued)

Exchanging words and embraces with his team, Michael isn’t the boy with Down syndrome. He is just one of the guys.

He also found time to work on his favorite part of the game, his shot. Michael hasn’t stopped shooting since the Central game. Entering contests when the game is out of reach, he recorded two baskets against Lawrence on Jan. 24, and last Friday he sank a shot against North Andover.

“The most fun thing about basketball is shooting,” Michael said.

“I love to shoot the ball. I shoot a lot with Gibby. He is cool. And coach Bino is nice and Coach Faz likes to kiss me on the head every time he sees me.”

See his story

For a video feature on Andover’s Michael Briggs, visit andovertownsman.com or youtube.com/user/theeagletribune

EMBRACED BY CELTICS NATION

Longtime Boston Celtics season ticket-holder David Briggs still lights up at the memory of the moment his son, Michael, touched the heart of Celtics legend Paul Pierce.

The family was traveling with the team thanks to donations it had made to the Jimmy Fund and Shamrock Foundation.

“Pierce was walking out of the arena looking very dejected after a loss,” David Briggs recalled.

“Michael and I were sitting in the front seat of the team bus. Pierce walks on and sees Michael smiling and waving to him, and it just put the biggest smile on this NBA star’s face. To see that human side of him is fantastic.”

The Briggs family has owned season tickets to the Celtics for Michael’s entire 16-year life. And, over time, he has become adopted into the Celtics family. They are friendly with many around the team, including longtime Celtics broadcaster Cedric Maxwell.

Michael — who learned math from keeping Pierce’s stats — takes his fandom very seriously.

“He has to be there before the tip-off and won’t leave until the final buzzer no matter how the game is going,” said his mother, Kim. “He has his ritual of always getting the chicken fingers and wears a different jersey every game. This year, he has mostly been (Brandon) Bass, (Jeff) Green and (Avery) Bradley.

“Everyone around the team loves him. They practically know him like the Andover community does.”

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