WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State swimmer Shannon Fitzsimmons (Andover, Mass.) was honored at the Boston Celtics game on Wednesday night by the Celtics 'Heros Among Us' Program. She was honored on the court during a timeout in the second quarter in front of a sold out crowd of 18,624.
Fitzsimmons used her CPR training to save her father, Mike Fitzsimmons', life last summer, when he had a heart attack at the gym. WestfieldStateOwls.com covered the remarkable story earlier this year. The story was picked up by several media outlets, including the Andover Townsmanand Lowell Sun newspapers, and NCAA Champion magazine plans feature Fitzsimmons in an upcoming issue.
The Celtics gave Shannon, her family and two friends courtside seats at the TD Garden as the Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors 117-108 behind 29 points and a career high 18 assists from Kyrie Irving.
"It was absolutely amazing, I'm so grateful," said Fitzsimmons. "It was so fun , we were courtside for warm ups, really felt like we were a part of it.
Fitzsimmons' seats were "Just to right of the Raptors bench. Literally right on the court. It was amazing. We're never going to have seats that good again!"
Shannon brought teammates Carly Thibodeau and Siobhan Carey to join her at the game.
"The Celtics actually gave us two extra tickets so I was able to invite Carly and Siobhan to come along," said Fitzsimmons.
Shannon and the Owls just returned from the Westfield State swim team's annual training trip to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Owls will host a home meet this Saturday, January 19 at 6 p.m. at the Ely Pool. The team will hold its senior day on January 26, when the Owls host Rhode Island College.
The Heroes Among Us program is one of the premier community outreach programs in professional sports. Established as an initiative of the Boston Celtics in 1997, Heroes Among Us honors individuals who have made an overwhelming impact on the lives of others.
The Heroes Among Us Award is presented to an individual or individuals who, through their unique commitment and humanitarian spirit, have made exceptional and lasting contributions to our community. At every home game, the Celtics and their fans have saluted the exemplary efforts of these citizens during a special in-game presentation on the legendary parquet floor.
Fitzsimmons had about 50 family and friends that attended the game. She said her father holds season tickets in conjunction with his business and that she usually has a chance to attend one or two Celtics games at the Garden a year.