On Thursday night, 60 players will be selected to begin their affiliations with NBA teams. The basketball circuit can be a small world, though, and many athletes connect before they even make it to the pros. Take a look at 10 NBA draft prospects who already have ties to the Boston Celtics.
Nerlens Noel (Kentucky): Noel grew up in Everett, Mass. and attended Tilton School in New Hampshire. He reportedly interviewed with his hometown Celtics and ranks Kevin Garnett as his favorite NBA player. Noel also attended the same college as Rajon Rondo.
Trey Burke (Michigan): Burke and Jared Sullinger met in Ohio during elementary school and became best friends. Burke was coached by Sullinger’s father at Northland High School. Sullinger often tweets his support to Burke, including a congratulatory message for his Big Ten Player of the Year honors.
Otto Porter (Georgetown): Porter isn’t in the NBA yet but he is part of a close-knit Georgetown Hoyas group in the pros. Late last month Roy Hibbert tweeted a photo of himself with Jeff Green, Greg Monroe, and Porter, who traveled to Miami to support him in the Pacers Eastern Conference Finals series against the Heat.
Phil Pressey (Missouri): Pressey grew up around the green and white. His father, Paul, played in the NBA and worked as an assistant coach for the Celtics.
Anthony Bennett (UNLV) and Myck Kabongo (Texas): Both attended Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada, the alma mater of Avery Bradley. Bradley and Kabongo also played college ball for the Longhorns.
Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse): Like Noel, Carter-Williams is a Massachusetts native. He was raised in Hamilton and attended St. Andrews School in Rhode Island.
Peyton Siva (Louisville): Jason Terry has taken fellow Seattle native Siva under his wing. In the past, Siva has traveled to Terry’s offseason home to work out and watch the NBA playoffs together.
Shane Larkin (Miami): Larkin is no stranger to Doc Rivers. He grew up in Florida and has known Rivers since he was eight years old. Larkin competed against Rivers’ son, Austin, in high school and college.
Mason Plumlee (Duke): At only 22, Avery Bradley has competed with or against many players still entering the league. Bradley was teammates with Plumlee during the 2009 Nike Hoops Summit.