Senator Scott Brown made a scheduled stop at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester's Savin Hill campus on Monday afternoon, touring the busy summertime hangout that draws thousands of neighborhood kids before draining jump shots in a pick-up basketball game. Brown, 51, led his squad of teen players to a 27-24 victory over other club members, knocking down several 15-foot baskets. Above, Brown talked to a group of kids before the game, taking questions about his job and family life. Photo by Bill Forry
At an afternoon game of pick-up basketball inside Savin Hill’s Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester, Team Yellow had a ringer: U.S. Sen. Scott Brown.
Brown, who donned a canary-colored pinnie for the game of five-on-five, helped his team win the quick game against teens in red pinnies. The final score was 27 to 24, with Brown landing a three-pointer earlier in the game.
“You don’t normally think a senator is a good athlete,” said one of his teenage teammates, Patrick O’Sullivan of Dorchester’s Neponset neighborhood. “He had a nice jump shot,” O’Sullivan added, comparing Brown to the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash with his “no look passes.”
Brown, 51, played basketball at Tufts University and was known as “Downtown Scotty Brown.”
Tyrell Pugh, an 18-year-old from South Boston who covered Brown for the opposing team, compared Brown to Bill Russell, who played for the Celtics. “He had the old school moves,” Pugh said. “He stole a couple of moves from him.”
The teens would do well to pick up some of the “old school” moves, like head fakes and squaring up with the rim of the basket, according to Bruce Seals, athletic director for the clubs who once played for the Utah Stars and the Seattle SuperSonics.
“A lot of young players need to go old school,” Seals said, adding, “For his age, he moves a whole lot better than me.”
The Wrentham Republican, who also rode in the Pan-Mass Challenge on Sunday, is facing reelection this year, with six Democratic challengers already clamoring to be the one to take a shot at him in Nov. 2012.
He also took questions from a younger set of children, twelve to thirteen-year-olds, before the game and received a tour of the complex. Brown recounted his troubled childhood and how playing basketball helped.
“Does working in Washington get annoying? Absolutely it gets annoying,” he said in response to one question, drawing laughs. “But what I’ve found is even though you read a lot about kind of the arguing and stuff, what I’ve found is that there’s probably seventy, about seventy, seventy-five senators who are really just people of goodwill and really want to work together to solve problems, and I try to associate with those folks to try to, you know, solve problems. So sometimes it is but sometimes it’s very, very rewarding, too.”
Brown said he received $174,000 annually in response to a question about his salary. “Everybody gets the same,” he said, to “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd of children seated on the basketball court.
The teens also asked him if he met President Obama (“quite a few times,yes” Brown said) and what his musical tastes are (Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Kiss).
The Dorchester Ave. location of the Boys and Girls Clubs is a popular spot for politicians to drop in on. Attorney General Martha Coakley, who lost the U.S. Senate special election to Brown last year, and Gov. Deval Patrick have made appearances. Former Gov. Mitt Romney , currently running for the Republican nomination for president, came by with then-Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey after he took the oath of office in 2003.
- GINTAUTAS DUMCIUS, News Editor