NZ boy gets Celtics wish before he goes blind

Last updated 20:41 06/03/2014

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Auckland 12-year-old Louis Corbett has got his wish - he has seen the famed Boston Celtics basketball team play on court.

Louis suffers from a degenerative eye disease that is taking away his sight - and seeing the Celtics in action has been a dream for him.

Louis sat courtside, next to their bench, on Wednesday local time when they played the Golden State Warriors at the TD Garden in Boston. Unfortunately they could not deliver the desired result - going down 108-88.

He met the players in the locker room before the game.

"It's incredible. Not every 12-year-old from New Zealand gets to see this, so it's pretty great," Louis told Boston television station 7News.

Louis has a rare condition called retinitis pigmentosa and is losing his peripheral vision.

He is building a "visual bank" before his vision disappears in a few years.

Fundraising efforts in New Zealand and Boston garnered enough money for Louis, his father Tim and brother Jerome to make the trip to Boston.

Jeff Green, the Celtics forward who had heart surgery just over two years ago, was amazed and impressed by the young fan, the Boston Herald.com reported.

"It is tough to meet a kid going through what he is going through," Green said.

"Despite the game, he put a smile on my face because he is going through something that is going to be with him for life. Going blind with the surgery he is going to have, you see his spirit. He is smiling and he is enjoying life.

"We can get down over the little things and then you have a kid who is about to have a surgery in a couple of weeks who is going to be blind, and right now he is enjoying a day at a time. Sometimes it puts life in perspective, when I myself am going through something that is not as big and he is sitting there smiling. So, for me I look up to kids like that. Even though he is younger than me, he is inspires me to get better each day. I just wish the best for him and pray for him everyday."

Louis also attended Tuesday night’s Bruins game and was given a shopping spree in the Celtics and Bruins pro shop.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was only sorry the Celtics could not win for Louis.

"I'm really disappointed in how we played for a lot of reasons, and I certainly would have liked to play better for he and his family" the Celtics coach said.

"It’s the way we should be. It’s the way organisations should be. You should give back to the community. You shouldn’t be applauded for it. You should just do it. I’m glad he had a good night even though we didn’t play well."

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Louis' trip includes a visit to the Google headquarters in San Francisco, Niagara Falls, New York and Las Vegas.

 - with AAP

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