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One-on-one with Neemias Queta: “It feels like a family”

I caught up with Queta at a community event earlier this month to discuss his increased involvement in the community, representing Portugal every time he takes the floor, and more. 

Neemias Queta speaks to students at the Helen Y David Leadership Academy in Dorchester.
Photo by Brian Babineau

Earlier this month, the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and Point32Health joined forces to host an event centered on mental health and wellness for youth at the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy in Dorchester. Neemias Queta attended the event, sharing his own experiences with mental health and getting to know several students on a deeper level.

The event focused on the role mental health plays in the lives of Black youth in the Boston area with students participating in a yoga session, and then a meditation activity. At the event’s conclusion, five students were selected to join Neemias Queta for further conversation as part of the official unveiling of a new ‘reflection room’ at the school.

After the event, CelticsBlog caught up with Queta to discuss his increased involvement in the community, representing Portugal, and playing for head coach Joe Mazzulla.

How much have you been able to get immersed in the Greater Boston community since becoming a Celtic?

Guys have been doing a really great job in involving me in the community. I wasn’t the guy that knew the most about Boston, but the more I’m getting with these activities in the community, I can understand all the issues in the city, so I’m just trying to help out whichever way I can.

We get messages from people in Portugal every day asking about you – how connected do you feel to your home country, and what responsibility do you feel as the first Portuguese-born NBA player?

It’s definitely something that I feel every day. They’re always by my side. Anything I do, they always want to support. I’m really happy and grateful for having that much support, and being the first player from Portugal is more of a responsibility than an attribute. I just try to go at it every day with the same amount of effort, just trying to make them proud.

LA Clippers v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

As a two-way player who has spent some time in Maine, how much have you gotten the chance to get to know Jordan Walsh?

It’s been a good situation. I feel like Jordan’s been doing a great job for us, whether down in Maine or in Boston. We kind of had a similar path, going through from our first year getting drafted and being in the G League right away. I feel like he’s doing it and doing a great job just being down there with a great attitude and just trying to get better every single day. It shows – you can tell the improvement he’s made. He’s shooting the ball at a high level right now, so we just want him to keep on getting better and learn from his mistakes, and keep on being confident because we know how good he can be.

What’s been your favorite part of how Joe Mazzulla has approached this team?

Joe’s a coach that I really enjoy playing for. He’s just one of those guys that knows how to bring the whole group together. It feels like a family. It’s just really, really beneficial that we can all be playing at such a high level with this group of guys and this coaching staff.

Do you have any personal goals for the rest of the season?

Just help the team win, pretty much. That’s the only thing. Anything else can come after. After we win, everybody eats. That’s how I feel about it.

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