The Boston Celtics are one of the original Basketball Association of America (BAA) teams, dating their debut back to the 1946-47 season. When the BAA merged with another fledgling professional basketball league, the NBL, the NBA was formed. By 1969, the Celtics had had a massive postseason rampage and racked up 11 championships in 13 years, thanks to players like Bill Russell and Bob Cousy.
The team added a couple of more trophies in the mid-1970s, and the Larry Bird era – which began in the late ’70s – brought three more championships to Boston. Most recently, the Celtics won the finals in 2008 with the Big Three (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen), bringing the team’s total to an NBA record of 17.
Today’s Boston Celtics find themselves in second place in the NBA Eastern Conference as they work to get back to the postseason, hoping for an 18th championship trophy to add to the shelf. Let’s take a look at where the team’s players hail from and what colleges they attended.
The Celtics Come From Here
Isaiah Thomas, a two-time NBA All-Star, was born in Tacoma, Washington, but played high school basketball in South Kent, Connecticut. He attended the University of Washington for college ball, closer to his birthplace, and was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2011. Teammate Avery Bradley was also born in Tacoma but went to the University of Texas at Austin for college.
Jaylen Brown, the No. 3 overall pick in 2016, is from Marietta, Georgia, but attended college on the other side of the country – at the University of California, Berkeley. Jae Crowder, who hails from Villa Rica, Georgia, headed northwest for college ball at Marquette University.
Jonas Jerebko doesn’t hail from the U.S. at all – he’s from Kinna, Sweden. Al Horford wasn’t born in the U.S. either (he was born in the Dominican Republic) but attended college at the University of Florida. Same with Kelly Olynyk – hailing from British Columbia, Canada, he played ball at Gonzaga University.
From the SEC and ACC to Boston
Two college conferences make up the bulk of the Celtics roster. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference each contribute over 27 percent, or more than half, of the team’s players. From the ACC, we have Demetrius Jackson (University of Notre Dame), Terry Rozier (University of Louisville), and Tyler Zeller (University of North Carolina). From the SEC, Boston features James Young (University of Kentucky), Al Horford (as mentioned above, he was a Gator), and Jordan Mickey, who played for LSU.
Two conferences contributed two players. From the Big 12, Avery Bradley played at the University of Texas at Austin, and Marcus Smart suited up for Oklahoma State University. The Pac-12 produced both Isaiah Thomas and Jaylen Brown.
Other conferences represented are the West Coast Conference (Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga) and Big East Conference (Jae Crowder, Marquette).
Heading Up to Boston
If you’re headed to TD Garden to catch your Celtics in action, check out Fanatics.com where you can grab a jersey of past and future greats.