Damien Harris has been a familiar face at TD Garden this season, often sitting courtside to cheer on the Boston Celtics.
The New England Patriots running back played basketball through high school growing up in Kentucky, and though he was typically the shortest player on his team, his athleticism allowed him to guard positions 1 through 5.
These days Harris is completely focused on his football career, but with three seasons in the books with the Patriots, it's been hard for him not to get swept up in the culture of Boston sports.
"I think Boston is the best sports town in America," Harris recently said while appearing on the "View From The Rafters" podcast. "I just wanted to do everything I could to go out support. I try to go to some Bruins games, I try to go to Celtics games, obviously, I tried to go to Fenway -- I just tried to do it all."
Many young stars currently make up Boston's sports landscape, and Harris feels grateful for the opportunity to befriend athletes from other teams.
He even snagged an invite to Jayson Tatum's 24th birthday party.
"I've seen JT and some other guys at some of our games and I think it's just fun that we all interact," Harris said. "I've gotten to get to know some guys from different teams and just being able to support one another, we're all on the same journey, trying to be the best athletes that we can be, the best men, so, just embracing the sports culture in this town."
Harris has closely followed the Celtics all season, from before the NBA trade deadline to their unbelievable turnaround after it. On Sunday, he'll attend his first playoff game at TD Garden, where Boston hosts the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of the first round.
It's a tall task for the Celtics -- facing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving without promising young big Rob Williams, who recently underwent surgery on a torn meniscus and is anticipated to miss the entire first round.
Harris is confident that the fans will help Boston out in the series, though.
"I think they've just shown that they can accomplish anything," Harris said of the Celtics, not yet willing to make any predictions about the outcome.
"Great season. It's been so fun to watch them, and I'm just really looking forward to being out there and supporting those guys. I've actually never been to a playoff game in the Garden so I'm excited about that. I just love great sports atmospheres and the Garden has one of the best atmospheres I've been."
That claim only intensified after Harris attended Kevin Garnett's jersey retirement last month.
The 25-year-old had the privilege of sitting right behind the NBA Hall of Famer during the game, with a front-row seat to Jaylen Brown's monstrous dunk.
The play led to Garnett getting out of his seat to dap up Brown, and Harris admits he was so fired up, he had to restrain himself from running out on the court with them.
"That was definitely one of the coolest experiences," Harris said of the ceremony. "Just seeing the love and the outpour of emotions and appreciation for somebody like KG is just a testament to these great fans and the New England area. Just the love, the appreciation, the respect for the hard work and the grittiness -- because you know that's what KG brought to the floor."
Similar to the young Celtics players watching Garnett's No. 5 raised to the rafters, Harris left that game incredibly inspired.
"It definitely got me ready to put the pads back on for sure," Harris said. "I was ready to suit up during that game. Seeing KG all emotional and seeing him basically reaping the benefits of all his hard work, you know, it was very motivating and inspiring."