The Red Claws play in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Friday night and Erie, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, so any players with ties to the Midwest may be able to visit home for Christmas.

Demetrius Jackson, the Celtics’ rookie who has played 10 D-League games for Maine, hails from northern Indiana and is likely to rejoin the Red Claws this weekend.

For Christmas, however, he plans to return to Boston.

“If I was home,” he said after Sunday’s 108-104 loss to Erie, “I’d definitely have to make stops in a lot of different places.”

That’s because Jackson, a soft-spoken point guard who led Notre Dame to consecutive Elite Eight appearances before turning pro after his junior season, has more than one family.

Heck, he said, “I have more than two.”

Off the court, Jackson wears a band on each wrist. The right one has one word inscribed: BLESSED. The left has three words: I AM SECOND.

“Just a reminder the world doesn’t revolve around me,” said Jackson, 22, whose eyes are often cast down, head bowed as if a heavy weight rests on his shoulders. “Try to act not for myself but for the people around me.”

You may have heard about Jackson’s formative years. How, at the age of 12, he went into foster care. His father was in jail. His mother was overwhelmed.

He prefers not to talk about that time. That was his situation and he tried to make the best of it. The first foster home wasn’t a good fit. He was moved to another, larger home, with more kids filtering in and out.

For a shy kid unsure of his place in the world, the local basketball court became a refuge.

“I could pick up a ball and kind of forget everything that was going on around me, whether it was trouble in the foster homes or maybe not being able to see my family,” Jackson said. “Regardless of the situation, whether I was high or low, basketball was always that place where I could be myself.”

In seventh grade, he became good friends with a teammate from his AAU club, a boy named Michael Whitfield who had two brothers and two sisters. Whitfield’s dad was a financial planner, his mom a kindergarten teacher. They provided rides, stability, a place to hang out on weekends.

Eventually, right around Christmas, Michael asked his parents if Demetrius could stay with them not just on weekends, but all the time, be a part of their family. In order to qualify as foster parents, the Whitfields underwent 30 hours of training, after which Jackson officially moved in.

“I’m very thankful for the situation that God put me in,” he said, “for the opportunity to move in with a great family and be loved.”

Jackson wears jersey No. 11, in part, because he is one of 11 siblings, five biological and five foster. It is the Whitfields who are coming to Boston to share Christmas with Jackson. Michael Whitfield plans to move there, having finished the requirements for his degree from Ball State earlier this month.

Last March, after announcing he would forgo a final year of eligibility, Jackson spoke of fulfilling a youthful promise to his birth mother, Juanita Jones, to buy her a new home.

On Sunday, he spoke of other important adults in his life: Rod Creech, his old AAU coach, has been “like a father figure for me”; Mim Thomas, a sociology professor, was particularly encouraging; his academic advisor has been “a huge help.”

Even his agent, Kieran Piller, a 2007 Notre Dame grad who spent two seasons on the Irish roster as a walk-on, drew praise and gratitude from Jackson for helping him find a place to live and teaching him a few of the responsibilities that come with living on his own.

“He’s like a big brother,” said Jackson. “The moral of the story: I have a lot of great people in my life.”

That Jackson wound up with the Celtics, so loaded with guards (All-Star Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier) that they couldn’t find room for D-League MVP Tim Frazier, was something of a surprise.

Coming off a memorable NCAA tournament where he almost single-handedly pulled Notre Dame past Wisconsin (two steals, two layups, two free throws in the final 20 seconds after the Irish trailed by 3) to reach the Elite Eight, Jackson projected as a first-rounder in most mock drafts. Instead, he slid halfway through the second round before the Celtics drafted him at No. 45.

A year earlier, the Celtics drafted another point guard at No. 45, Marcus Thornton, and stashed him in Australia. Thornton joined the Red Claws for 14 games last March and April and now plays in Italy.

With the more rugged Jackson, who at 6-foot-1, 201 pounds looks solid enough to be a run-stopping NFL defensive back, the Celtics signed him to a four-year $5.5 million contract with the first year and a portion of the second guaranteed. All first-round picks received guaranteed three-year contracts.

“It was tough sitting there and everything,” Jackson said about his long wait on draft night, “but it’s not about how you start, it’s not about where you go in the draft.”

He mentioned Thomas, the 60th and final selection of 2011 who is now the headband-wearing face of the franchise in Boston and the star of a Nike ad campaign called “Pick me last again.” Jeremy Lin is another point guard who struggled to gain a foothold in the NBA before establishing himself.

“I try to remind myself of guys who didn’t play a lot early who just grind and stay the course,” Jackson said. “A lot of those guys are premier players for their teams.”

The Red Claws are 5-5 with Jackson in their lineup, 4-1 without him. They’re still getting used to each other.

“He’s a leader, a good vocal leader,” said Maine Coach Scott Morrison. “He’s also very athletic for his size.”

Morrison paused to consider the 22-year-old trying to find his way in the world.

“Everyone’s rooting for him.”

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