Rondo played Connect Four at the Boys & Girls Club on Dec. 22. / Rajon Rondo, Twitter
When Rajon Rondo beats you at Connect Four, he probably will celebrate with a Shirley Temple.
Those are two takeaways from a fantastic profile of him by Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins in what was by far the most revealing interview the Boston Celtics point guard has given. Rondo opens up about all sorts of matters, including his strange drink preference, as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
But the most unusual stuff might come from others, talking about his Connect Four prowess. From the article, which remains on news stands for a couple more days but has not been posted online yet:
Rondo would set up a Connect Four grid on the front porch and play deep into the night, welcoming friends and family members to his stoop, and then dispatching them all. "He beat everybody," says his mom, Amber Rondo. The boy possessed an unearthly ability to see the entire board and think three moves ahead.
So that's the back story, but don't think this was a childhood thing. More from Jenkins:
So at charity functions he perched behind a folding table where he could avoid the back-slapping, baby-hugging and other standard forms of celebrity fakery. He just played Connect Four, against anybody who dared, usually two grids at a time and sometimes three. "This has been going on for six years," Matt Meyersohn, the Celtics' director of community relations, said on Dec. 22 during an event at the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club in Dorchester, Mass. "He's played hundreds of Connect Four games, maybe a thousand. And he's never lost."
Thing is, this innate ability really shouldn't surprise us. Rondo is a brilliant tactical basketball player, often simply dribbling into the center of the defense, pausing and letting a teammate get open. He has averaged more than 11 assists a game three consecutive seasons, leading the league for a second year in a row before he went down.
But Rondo is a complicated, cerebral guy with no interest in smoothing out his public image. Jenkins breaks down his unique personality perfectly in the profile. And he talks about Connect Four.
H/T WEEI for pointing us toward Jenkins' story
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