BOSTON (WHDH) - The Celtics are set to face off against a Milwaukee Bucks player with local ties.
Bucks guard and Arlington native Pat Connaughton stands 6 foot, 5 inches tall now but he was a little shorter when he was playing for the AAU League’s Middlesex Magic back in his teenage years.
“He was an otherworldly winner. Like, he did it all,” said Connaughton’s longtime friend Mike Crotty Jr.
Crotty was a young coach when Connaughton showed up to play. He went on to work as the C’s director of player development.
“My first impression at the first practice … oh, we got our best athlete,” he said.
Connaughton was a heavily recruited athlete out of St. John’s Preparatory School. He went on to play basketball and baseball at Notre Dame and both the Brooklyn Nets and Baltimore Orioles had their eyes on him.
Basketball was his passion and people were saying, ‘You should stick with baseball and that’s what you should do,” said St. John’s Prep’s Athletic Director Jameson Pelkey. “He didn’t care what they were saying. he knew that basketball was it and he was going to prove a lot of people wrong.”
“There’s a video out there of him throwing a football 80 yards,” Crotty said. “He might be prototypical as a 6’5″ quarterback but he can do it all.”
Connaughton has a foundation to help young athletes on their journey. He is on the court a lot helping kids with hoop dreams learn about perseverance.
“He’s so selfless and he is so giving of his time. He is just an amazing teammate,” Crotty said.
The two men remain close friends. Crotty got to share in Connaughton’s greatest triumph last year when the Bucks took the NBA title — a flashback to earlier victories with the Middlesex Magic.
(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)