NBA Finals: Greeneview grad Evan Bradds carrying on family legacy at the highest level

Basketball and the Bradds family of Jamestown are synonymous.

Gary got it started when he starred at Greeneview High School then played well enough at Ohio State in the early 1960s to have his No. 35 retired.

His son, David, took on the mantle next and carved out a playing career at the University of Dayton in the ‘80s.

David’s sons, Evan and Ethan, became third-generation stars for the Rams in the previous decade before going on to play basketball at Belmont and football at Eastern Kentucky, respectively.

Now all three of them are involved in coaching the roundball game, but their current positions are quite a bit different.

While David helps out with the seventh and eighth grade girls at Greeneview, Ethan coaches the junior varsity boys.

They are done for the season, but Evan is not.

He is a player enhancement coach for the Boston Celtics, who continue their best of seven NBA Finals series with the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night in Boston.

“I’m proud of him, of course,” David said in a phone interview. “He’s doing his thing, and I’m happy. He’s doing what he loves. and we’re all happy, his mother and I, his brother. We live and die with the wins and losses just like he does.”

Credit: Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports

Evan is not the first Bradds to have a role in pro basketball, but his path differed from his grandfather.

While Gary was the No. 3 pick in the 1965 NBA Draft, Evan blew out his knee during a pre-draft workout in 2017 and was not picked despite being one of the best players in Belmont history.

That same year, he accepted an offer to join the Maine Red Claws — NBA G League affiliate of the Celtics — and then found himself invited to join the Celtics for the postseason when Maine was finished.

From there, the two-time Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year who shot 66.7 percent from the floor and scored more than 1,900 points in college, has climbed the ladder in the organization.

The 28-year-old was named to his current position last summer after Ime Udoka became head coach and former coach Brad Stevens moved into a front-office role.

What’s next remains to be seen, but the future appears bright for Bradds.

“I think he would love to be a head coach some day, but you know that’s a long way down the road and you’ve gotta get some breaks,” David Bradds said. “I think he just wants to keep doing it. See where it takes him.”

David did not know coaching might be in his son’s future as he was growing up, but he does think he has some natural ability for the role.

“He has a finance degree, so I had no idea. I really didn’t,” David said. “I didn’t push him. He made that leap on his own, but he really studies it and puts the time in. That’s what you got to do.”

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