Thomas on military tribute: ‘Bigger than what we do out there on the floor.'

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BOSTON – There was a lot to like for the Boston Celtics at Monday’s game against Detroit which the Celtics held on to win 113-109.

But the coolest moment came well before the game heated up.

It was when the family of Staff Sergeant Matthew Noll of the United States Air Force National Guard surprised his family by being in attendance at the 10th annual Seats for Soldiers presented by HB Communications.

Shortly after the Public Address announcer read that Staff Sgt. Noll was currently deployed overseas with tours that included Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar, he soon appeared in what was an emotional reunion on the court that touched many – including Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas.

“That was big time,” Thomas said. “That’s probably the best feeling they’ve ever had. You could just see it; you could them so surprised, so happy. They’re probably at a loss for words. That’s what life is really about; it’s bigger than what we do out there on the floor. Those guys, they put their lives on the line. For their family, that was big time. I’m happy for them.”

In addition to the reunion on the floor, the Celtics also had a special video conference set up before the game with Celtics guard Avery Bradley and Leon Powe with military personnel in Kuwait.

As mentioned earlier, this was the 10th annual Seats for Soldiers program which gives Celtics fans a chance to donate their tickets to the game and allow various folks from each branch of the Armed Services a chance to attend a game in their seats. All of the donated tickets are given to the USO New England for distribution within the military branches.

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