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Rivers remembers Raymonds

12/7/2010

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers took time Tuesday to reflect on former Marquette coach Hank Raymonds, who passed away Monday at the age of 86. Rivers played for Raymonds from 1979-1983, making three NCAA tournament appearances during that span.

"He was very important for me," said Rivers. "Coach Raymonds and I were very close. I flew back probably three or four times per summer, just to see him. Honestly, I would not be here without him. In a lot of ways, he saved me as a person. I thought, for him, he was one of those coaches that care far more about the kids than the program. Very few college coaches like that any more.

"We had a great run with him. He’s just a terrific person. He called me, literally, every day during the playoffs last year and that’s when I found out he was sick because, during the Finals, I wasn’t getting calls any more. I checked with my sister and said, ‘What’s going on with Coach?’ She found out that he had a brain tumor. But I got to see him a week before [the 2010-11 NBA] season, got to see him one more time. He was still pretty much there, and so we got to spend a lot of time together."

River shared more of his thoughts on Raymonds with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In those thoughts, Rivers said: "I use Hank’s lines all the time. The line I always use that he used on me a lot is, ‘I’m never going to coach you for who you are today. I’m going to coach you for you should be someday, and what you should be someday.’ I use that on my players, I use that on my kids, and I think it’s a great thing. To me, that sums Hank up as much as anything."

Rivers actually used that line recently while talking to reporters about Marquis Daniels. Raymonds legacy as a coach will live on in Boston in some small way through Rivers.