Brad Stevens may not still be at Butler, the school he led to two consecutive Final Fours, but the Boston Celtics coach is making a considerable effort to let his former players know he has not abandoned them.

Last summer, several days after taking the Boston job, Stevens drove to Connersville, Ind., to fulfill a promise to Matt Howard's father.

And this week, amid a hectic travel schedule, Stevens went out of his way to visit with Andrew Smith, one of his former stars at Butler who was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Smith, who graduated in 2013 after starting 103 career games at Butler, was playing professionally in Lithuania when he was diagnosed with the disease. He recently returned to his hometown of Zionsville, Ind., for treatment. That's where Stevens trekked to show support for his former big man.


Stevens had one day off between games -- his Celtics beat the Bucks in Milwaukee on Monday and play the Spurs in Boston on Wednesday. But he made sure to take a detour through the Hoosier State to show his support for Smith. If this doesn't reinforce Stevens' high-character reputation, nothing does.

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