- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) - Marcus Smart wasn’t born when his half brother played in a Texas high school basketball game despite having cancer.

Yet Todd Westbrook’s perseverance through his recurring bouts with the disease is an inspiration to the Boston Celtics new guard. Like the time Westbrook surprised his coach by leaving the hospital where he was being treated for a tumor behind his left eye.

“He said, ‘I’m coming to play,’ and his left eye was shut closed,” Smart said Monday. “He played. He scored 30 that night, too.”

Their mother Camellia was at the game.

“It was beautiful,” she said. “They called him ‘The Comeback Kid.’”

Westbrook died in 2004 at the age of 33. Smart was only 9.

Now Smart is a 20-year-old Celtic with a tattoo of a basketball with his half brother’s uniform number “3” on it in Westbrook’s honor.

“He was the oldest,” Smart said. “He started off playing basketball. He taught my other two brothers. He taught me. … Now I’m here living out his legacy.”

Smart developed into one of the nation’s best players. After his sophomore year at Oklahoma State, the physical guard and tough defender was chosen by the Celtics with the sixth pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

The team formally introduced him and its 17th pick of the first round, swingman James Young, a productive scorer who helped lead Kentucky to the NCAA championship game last season as a freshman.

“If you’re going to be a good team, you have to have guys that have the passion and the fire and guys that have the skill,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said, “and I think both of our new young kids have both.”

The Celtics, though, have a long way to go to become a good team.

Last season’s 25-57 record was the third worst in the history of a franchise that has won 17 NBA championships.

Young already has played for a school with a history of success - 16 Final Four appearances and eight titles.

“There’s a great tradition at Kentucky and there’s a great tradition here,” he said.

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