Former Celtics pass on hoops dreams to daughters


Former Celtics pass on hoops dreams to daughters

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
This season Doc Rivers will watch his son, Austin, take the court for the Duke Blue Devils as one of the most highly touted college basketball players in the country. Austin, last years top ranked high school player, is Rivers second son to play at the collegiate level.

Rivers is one of several former NBA players whose sons follow in their footsteps and go on to play college andor professional basketball. Joe and Kobe Bryant, Stephen and Dell Curry, Bill and Luke Walton, and former Celtic Gerald Henderson and Gerald Henderson Jr. are just a few examples of father-son duos in the league today.

But for every player whose son dreams of making it to the NBA like his dad, there are also those whose daughters want to play basketball, too.

The Wall Street Journal took a look at the increasing number of top female high school basketball players who are proving theyve got game just like their fathers. Of the NBA players featured, three former Celtics discussed their daughters bright futures in hoops.

Lexie Brown
Father: Dee Brown (Celtics 1990-98)
Key facts: Point guard Committed to the University of Maryland

Dee Brown has never lost a game of one-on-one to any of his four kids, but the competitive gap is closing.

This summer, the former Boston Celtics guard, who won the 1991 NBA slam dunk contest, came within a missed layup of losing to his eldest.

"I blew it," said Lexie Brown, one of the country's top girls high-school point guards. "I'll get him eventually."

Xylina McDaniel
Father: Xavier McDaniel (Celtics 1992-95)
Key facts: 6-2 forward 2011 South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year Has led Spring Valley High School to two state championships Scholarship offers include University of North Carolina and the University of Connecticut

As for the inevitable comparisons to her father, Xylina said they don't bother her. "From what I've heard, he was really good," she said.

She suspects her younger brotherXavier McDaniel Jr., a 6-foot-3 freshmanfeels more pressure. Folks around Columbia refer to him as "Little X." "Everybody expects my brother to be just like my dad," Xylina said, "because he's a boy."

In either case, Xavier McDaniel said he has always encouraged his children to embrace their lineage. "Pressure is what you make of it," he said. "Like I tell my son, 'It don't matter if you want to say you want to be your own person. You're still going to be compared to me.' It's the same thing I told my daughter: 'Either you relish it or they'll gobble you up.'"

Aja Ellison
Father: Pervis Ellison (Celtics 1994-2000)
Key facts: 6-3 wing player has received scholarship offer from the University of Louisville

Pervis Ellison, a retired 11-year NBA veteran, has worked this summer with his daughter Aja, a sophomore at the Shipley School outside of Philadelphia. Aja recently dunked for the first time

in a pick-up game, which impressed her dad. He said he had his first dunk around the same age. "And Aja's dunk was legitimate," he said.

Aja, the product of a 6-foot-9 father and a track-star mother, has already sprouted to 6-foot-3 and leaps like a pogo stick. "There are some obvious genetics at work here," said Sean Costello, her high school coach. But Aja also has benefitted from the tutelage of her dad, who knows the game, played it at the highest level, and has time and resources at his disposal.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA

Streak reveals depth even Celtics didn't know they had

Streak reveals depth even Celtics didn't know they had

Coaches in all sports will tell you that winning is not easy.
Making the Celtics’ 16-game winning streak even more impressive is that a number of the victories have involved Boston turning to some unlikely sources of production.


And that has provided a glimpse into a franchise that’s getting the best of both worlds: quality play from its core group while developing reserves who have contributed to the team reeling off 16 straight wins in a variety of ways.
Because coach Brad Stevens has gone deeper into his bench this season than past years, it has created a roster with minutes more evenly distributed and with that, less wear and tear on the bodies of key players.
And while this team is led by Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, there has been at least one other Celtic to emerge as a top-three performer every night...and often it’s not the same player.
“Much more unpredictable now,” a league executive texted to NBC Sports Boston. “That number three guy, is it [Jaylen] Brown? [Jayson] Tatum? Sometimes it’s Marcus [Smart]. You don’t know who it’s going to be because a lot of times, I don’t think they [Celtics] know who it will be. It’s why they’re so good, man.”
Here are five under-the-radar storylines heading into tonight’s game in Miami with the Celtics trying to push their winning streak to 17:

It’s one thing for the home crowd to get into the ‘M-V-P’ chants when you’re at the free-throw line. But it’s a completely different matter when those same cheers are being heard on the road. That’s where Irving was following the 110-102 overtime win at Dallas, a game in which Irving dropped 47 points, 10 in overtime. It’ll be interesting to see if another strong game by Irving will lead to another serenading of ‘M-V-P’ chants for the most dominant player on the team with the league’s best record.

The streak is the talk of the NBA right now, but streaking was going to be part of the conversation leading up to tonight’s game regardless. The Celtics come into tonight’s game having won eight in a row over the Heat, their longest current winning streak over any team. Boston has dominated this matchup for years, posting a 70-44 record all-time against Miami in the regular season.

College basketball just kicked off and Duke is once again among the game’s top teams, a school that consistently produces NBA talent at a relatively high level. That’ll be very apparent tonight when you consider this Boston-Miami matchup features three players (Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum for Boston, Justise Winslow for Miami) from Duke who will all be in the starting lineup and a fourth (Boston’s Semi Ojeleye) who attended Duke but later transferred to SMU.

Every front-office executive has that one player they tried – and failed – to acquire that, in hindsight, not getting him was a really good thing. Winslow is that guy for the Celtics. While he hasn’t been necessarily a bust, his impact at this level hasn’t been enough to have warranted all the assets Boston was willing to part with on draft night in order to move up and select him. Still, he’s healthy now and starting to play better which is evident by his numbers in most offensive categories on the rise, while his defense has been relatively solid.

The Heat have made the 3-point shot a much bigger part of their offense this season, evident by Miami ranking seventh in the league in 3-point makes (11.2) this season. In Boston, one of the keys to their top-ranked defense has been their length, which has come in real handy defending the 3-pointer. In fact, Boston has limited opponents to just 32.1 percent shooting on 3’s this season, which ranks third in the league.



WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat


WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics play the Heat in Miami. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: Will Celtics be drained by emotional comeback win Monday in Dallas?

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]