Cheer up Celtic fans. Even though The C's four game win streak was ended tonight by a scrappy Charlotte Bobcats team all is not lost. Video of Brad Stevens playing hoops in high school has emerged on Bleacher Report and he can shoot the lights out just like the film Hoosiers' famous hero Jimmy Chitwood.
Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe (h/t NESN FoxSports.com) recently put together a profile on Stevens, which included video from his high school playing days.
It shows Stevens working his magic as a standout guard for Zionsville High School in Boone County, Indiana. The footage illustrates the young man’s dead-eye shooting and preternatural sense of court awareness.
Better still is the fact that the footage all comes from a single game—a sectional championship game against Lebanon High during Stevens' senior year. Stevens recalls the game as “his best time in high school,” and based on the video, it’s easy to see why.
Stevens caught fire against Lebanon, scoring his team’s first 13 points and making difficult clutch shots in the paint and on the baseline. He also shows off some of his famous hustle by flying back on defense and swatting a layup into the stands.
Unfortunately, for The Zionsville Eagles, he didn't shoot the ball like like Steve Alford at Indiana every game which also made for some painful memories:
Sophomore year. Sectional final, Zionsville Eagles vs. Lebanon Tigers. “That was my worst memory in sports,” Brad Stevens said. It was 20 years ago. “To this day,” the new Celtics coach said, “I don’t even want to talk about it.”
Brad Stevens and the Eagles lead, 44-31, entering the fourth quarter.
This is 1993, back when his high school, housed in an all-American suburb a half-hour northwest of Indianapolis, graduated classes of 160 or so, but Indiana’s fabled one-class system allowed schools of any size to compete for state championships, most famously tiny Milan High (total enrollment: 161) in 1954, a story immortalized in the film “Hoosiers.”
This is Indiana, where basketball’s founder, James Naismith, said the game “really had its origin” even though it was born in Massachusetts; where the motto, “In 49 other states, it’s just basketball, but this is Indiana,” isn’t hyperbole; where 12 of the 13 largest high school gyms in this country exist; where the soul of the game lives today.
And in 1993, in Indiana, any magical run to glory still began with winning the eight-team sectional, and, with 1:40 left, the Eagles still led, 59-51.
Then, aided by their turnover-forcing press defense, the Tigers roar back, scoring 8 straight, tying the score at 59 in the final seconds, firing a right baseline jumper as the buzzer wails . . .
The ball swishes through the net, and Lebanon fans spill onto the court.
Grief swallows the Eagles whole.
“We were right back on the court because we didn’t know what else to do with ourselves,” Stevens said.
He had an off night, with 11 points and too many turnovers. He accepts blame, still. The Zionsville Times Sentinel splashed a photo of Eagles coach Dave Sollman hanging his head on its front page. The caption: “A Sectional stunner.”
Next year, Eagles fans believe. They’ll place their faith in three returning starters from a 15-7 team that won the conference. Next year.
Interestingly, that's exactly what many Celtic fans were saying prior to the season with the loss of Doc, KG and Pierce and the hire of a young and an NBA unproven Stevens: "Next Year."
Fortunately, it looks as though the scrapppy former guard from Zionsville High School in Boone County, Indiana has the talent and tenacity as an NBA head coach to give Celtic fans plenty to cheer about this season as well.
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Clint Corey 11/14/2013 01:17:00 AM Tweet