Lake Oswego has been known for its highly talented and extremely successful basketball players over the years.
But now people are becoming more and more familiar with a Lake Oswego graduate who is making a name for himself in the NBA coaching world and who also held a basketball operations title at the University of Portland:
Enter Ben Sullivan.
Sullivan was hired as an assistant for the Milwaukee Bucks in June of 2018 after holding an assistant coaching position for the Atlanta Hawks from 2014-2018.
But before the 37-year-old assistant made his way to Milwaukee he worked in video operations as a video intern for the San Antonio Spurs.
It was under Gregg Popovich that Sullivan really became a master of the sport.
Now as Sullivan looks to help Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer in the NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns, while Milwaukee also looks to celebrate its 50th anniversary of their lone NBA title, Sullivan has already played a big role in the Bucks recent success.
More specifically, he’s been credited as helping Giannis Antetokounmpo work on his jumper.
With the uncertainty of Antetokounmpo's status heading into Game 1 of the Finals after he hyper-extended his left knee in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks, many are wondering how Milwaukee will fare against the Suns.
Antetokounmpo has averaged 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the playoffs this year.
Over the past two seasons in Milwaukee, the two-time MVP has been working on his jump shot.
And it’s been Sullivan who has been right by his side to help improve his shot and his handles.
In a feature interview with NBA.com, Sullivan detailed his shooting workouts with Giannis. While talking about the potential of the 26-year-old big man, “he still has a lot of growth and that’s what gets me excited. His passing, his handle, his pick-and-roll play, his one-on-one play. Playing off the ball. Then on defense, he can be more engaged. He has some areas he can really grow in. I think that’s scary for everyone else.”
“He wants it, man. He wants to be great. He wants to drive us. He wants this to be the last team standing. He’s a driven man.”
It sounds like that could be said for Sullivan as well.
Good luck in the NBA Finals, coach!