Centennial Moments: Peavey Gymnasium Becomes Celtics Preseason Home

Centennial Moments: Peavey Gymnasium Becomes Celtics Preseason Home

BABSON PARK, Mass.—The Boston Celtics enjoyed one of the great runs in professional sports history capturing 11 National Basketball Association (NBA) titles in 13 years between 1957-69. Included in this stretch of dominance was an eight-year run that saw the organization host its preseason training camp inside Peavey Gymnasium on the campus of Babson Institute.

After using six different sites over 13 seasons between 1946-59, the Celtics held their first practice at Babson on September 21, 1959, under the direction of Hall of Fame head coach Red Auerbach. In the eight years the franchise spent calling Peavey Gym its preseason home, the first seven ended with the team holding the Walter A. Brown trophy as NBA champions. Auerbach moved the organization's preseason camp to Boston State College in the fall of 1967 following a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals the previous spring.

Along with Auerbach, eight members of the Celtics that played between 1959-67 have been enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, a list that includes Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Tom Heinsohn and Sam Jones among others. The Celtics played one exhibition game inside Peavey Gym, defeating the Syracuse Nationals 114-111 behind 27 points from Russell on October 18, 1961. The game benefitted the memorial fund of former Babson President Dr. Gordon Trim, who had died suddenly just months earlier.

In addition to the 1961 exhibition contest, the Celtics hosted intrasquad games at Peavey Gymnasium, which is now known as Roger Enrico '65 H'86 PepsiCo Pavilion, in 1962, 1963 and 1964.