West Virginia alum Joe Mazzulla secures first NBA Finals victory

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Just five years ago, current Boston Celtics head coach and West Virginia basketball alum Joe Mazzulla had reached what seemed like quite an achievement -- he had led Division 2 Fairmont State to the postseason in just his second year at the helm, finding in early taste of success in his first head coaching gig.

Now, things are quite different for Mazzulla, yet also similar. Mazzulla, in his second year at the helm of Boston, has not only taken his team on a postseason run, but has reached the NBA Finals. He is the youngest NBA head coach to do so since Bill Russell in 1969.

His meteoric rise earned him one step closer to tasting the ultimate success in the sport on Thursday night as the Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 107-89 in Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals, earning him his first NBA Finals game win as a coach. If he can secure a series victory, it will be Boston's 18th NBA Championship.

Mazzulla starred at WVU from 2006-2011 and helped lead the Mountaineers to a Final Four appearance as a captain during his redshirt junior season.