Haverhill’s Barnes Receives Honors at Boston Celtics Game

Jay Barnes with Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, left, and Milwaukee Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova.

Jay Barnes of Haverhill with his “Hero Among Us” award.

Jay Barnes of Haverhill with his “Hero Among Us” award.

Haverhill’s Jay Barnes was honored last night as a “Hero Among Us” by the Massachusetts State Lottery and the Boston Celtics.

Barnes was honored at the Boston Celtics game against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden. He was chosen and recognized for his work with the Special Olympics as a coach for his son Christopher’s basketball team, the Haverhill Stars, and establishing a scholarship fund supporting Haverhill high school graduates studying special education in college.

After Christopher died from leukemia seven years ago, Barnes was determined to carry on his son’s legacy. Now in his 18th season as a Special Olympics coach, he runs the unified sports program in Haverhill, coaching four teams and annually impacting more than 50 athletes.

Since its establishment in 1997 by the Boston Celtics, The Heroes Among Us program has recognized outstanding individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to their communities. The award is presented at every Celtics home game and pays tribute to the heroic achievements of these outstanding citizens.