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UPDATED: 9:55 p.m. ET to reflect Ime Udoka’s suspension for the 2022-23 NBA season.

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is speaking out following the announcement of his suspension for the upcoming NBA season over allegations he violated the organization’s code of conduct by having a consensual affair with a fellow team staffer.

Udoka said he let his friends, family and the team down with the apparent transgression.

“I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision,” Udoka said in a brief statement.

UPDATED: 9:40 p.m. ET

The Boston Celtics franchise suspended its head coach for the entire upcoming season following a report of misconduct in the workplace that violated the professional basketball organization’s code of conduct for employees.

As a result, Ime Udoka is expected to be away from the sidelines for the 2022-23 season just barely three months after he led the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first year coaching the team. Udoka is reported to have had a consensual relationship with an unidentified Celtics employee.

The Celtics made the announcement on Twitter at 9:32 p.m. local time. The announcement suggested Udoka’s job was at risk.

A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date.

UPDATED: 12:25 p.m. ET

The Boston Celtics staffer at the center of a scandal involving the head coach is not Allison Feaster, according to one veteran NBA reporter.

“For those speculating and curious about the Celtics’ situation, Vice-President of Player Development and Organizational Growth Allison Feaster is not involved in this,” Marc Spears of Andscape and ESPN tweeted late Thursday morning.

Original story:

 

The news that Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is facing a possible season-long suspension for violating team rules over a romantic relationship with a team staffer sparked questions about not just whether he cheated on his long-term girlfriend, actress Nia Long, but also with whom he did so.

Shortly after the bombshell reports from a pair of renowned and trusted NBA insiders, photos of Allison Feaster began populating social media timelines and purporting to identify the Celtics staffer with whom Udoka reportedly had an “an improper intimate and consensual relationship,” as Shams Charania of the Athletic tweeted early Thursday morning.

However, according to one veteran NBA reporter, Feaster is not the person with whom Udoka is alleged to have had an affair.

“For those speculating and curious about the Celtics’ situation, Vice-President of Player Development and Organizational Growth Allison Feaster is not involved in this,” Marc Spears of Andscape and ESPN tweeted late Thursday morning.

Spears’ tweet came hours after Feaster’s name surfaced on social media as the unidentified staffer.

Here’s what we know about Feaster.

Identified on the Celtics’ website as Vice President, Player Development and Organizational Growth, Feaster is a former basketball standout who starred at Harvard University and was the 5th overall pick in the 1998 WNBA draft.

Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat at TD Garden

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. | Source: Boston Globe / Getty

The married 46-year-old South Carolina native set a state scoring record in high school before starring for the Harvard Crimson from 1994 to 1998. Feaster averaged nearly 29 points per game her senior season at Harvard, setting the stage for an 18-year professional career that included playing for multiple teams in Europe in addition to the WNBA. She retired in 2016 before enrolling in the NBA’s Basketball Operations Associate Program.

“It really prepared me for the role I’m doing now,” Feaster said in 2017 about her then-job working in NBA’s developmental G-League operations.

That ultimately led to her accepting her current position with the Celtics in 2020.

Sports Illustrated called Feaster a “Harvard legend” who rightfully earned a place in the Celtics’ front office with a position in which she is entering her fourth season.

From SI:

When Feaster joined the Celtics, her responsibilities were centered on two things: player development and bettering the organization overall by identifying areas of growth and opportunity. She focuses on these duties by helping players maximize their opportunities on and off court by featuring different resources available for them to do so within the Celtics organization and acting as a liaison between the Celtics and the league office. Now, three years later, Feaster’s commitments have grown to, what she calls, “basically do[ing] whatever needs to be done, especially from the directive of our president… I’m the cultural ambassador for the organization.”

Notably, SI also reported that Feaster “works closely with … head coach Ime Udoka.”

Feaster was pictured sitting next to Udoka during a Celtics summer league game in July. But that isn’t proof of anything since their jobs are intrinsically intertwined.

 

In addition, Feaster serves as the co-lead of the Boston Celtics United social justice initiative that, according to its website, emphasizes “combating issues that have impacted the Black community as a result of the nation’s long-term history of systemic racism.”

Boston Celtics Training Camp

Source: Boston Globe / Getty

A recent Instagram post from Feaster shared video footage showing recipients of grants to local Black business owners courtesy of a partnership involving Boston Celtics United.

“The Power Forward Small Business Grant program aims to create a lasting impact through the economic empowerment of Black-owned small businesses across New England. Through a combined commitment of $1 million, @vistaprintand the @celtics Shamrock Foundation are teaming up with the @naacp to award transformative grants of $25,000 on a rolling basis,” Feaster wrote with the video posted to Instagram on Sept. 15. “Through this initiative, grant recipients will have opportunities to be featured on co-branded platforms along with receiving marketing and design resources customized to their specific needs to help their business grow and thrive.”

Feaster explained to SI the importance of that particular role.

“We came together as an organization, hearing from our players, our ownership group, senior leaders in the organization formulate a response,” Feaster said. “It’s really a challenge because there’s so much work to do, but at the same time, we’re just trying to chip away and in small areas.”

Feaster is married to her high school sweetheart and former college basketball star Danny Strong, according to a website for a North Carolina high school basketball team that identifies him as the head coach.

Feaster posted an Instagram photo that featured herself smiling alongside Strong less than a month ago.

The Wake County Public Schools athletics website also said Feaster and Strong have a daughter named Sarah.

This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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