West Virginia University will be represented in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row, beginning tonight.
Unlike last year, though, a former Mountaineer is guaranteed to win a championship this time around.
Joe Mazzulla will take his usual spot on the Boston Celtics’ bench for Game 1 of the Associations’ title round Thursday night in Golden State.
Elsewhere in the arena will be Jonnie West, the Director of Pro Scouting for the Golden State Warriors, and son of NBA Logo Jerry West.
West is in his 10th season with Golden State, and was the franchise’s Director of Basketball Operations for three years prior to assuming his current role in the front office.
Mazzulla joined the coaching staff in Boston in 2019, hired by then-head coach Brad Stevens. He was retained by the Celtics in the offseason, despite a head coaching change.
Both Mazzulla and West were part of the famed Final Four team in 2010.
Forwards Kevin Jones and Devin Ebanks, who were also on that year’s Mountaineer squad, both played in the NBA. Neither made it to the final round of the league’s postseason tournament, though.
While neither Mazzulla nor West played in the Association, the two former teammates will now meet as professionals with a championship on the line.
For Mazzulla, he hopes to help coach Boston to a record 18th NBA championship.
For West, he’s hoping this is the latest in what has been a dynastic run of success over the last decade for Golden State.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals gets underway at 9 p.m. ET, with Game 2 tipping off at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday.
All games will be televised on ABC.