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Mountaineers in the Pros

Former WVU players Joe Mazzulla and Da’Sean Butler Coach Together in Summer League



For the past week, former WVU players Joe Mazzulla and Da’Sean Butler participated in the NBA Summer League by coaching the Boston Celtics.

Mazzulla was the head coach of the Celtics’ summer league team and brought on Butler as an assistant.

Mazzulla and Butler both helped coach the Celtics to the summer league championship, where they lost to the Sacramento Kings, 100-67.

The former members of the historic Final Four team from 2010 both have now made the full transition into coaching. Mazzulla is an assistant for the Celtics’ NBA roster, while Butler is an assistant at Wheeling University. Mazzulla was one of the final candidates to replace Brad Stevens as the head coach of the Celtics. Butler will begin his second year with Wheeling this upcoming season.

The Celtics went 4-1 in the summer league campaign, with their only loss coming on Tuesday night in the championship round. Mazzulla had some encouraging words to say about the future of the Celtics.

“They’re great people and they’re great players,” Mazzulla said. “They really want to win.”

As Butler begins his career as a coach, the WVU Hall of Famer reflected on what he has learned from Bob Huggins while he was at West Virginia.

“Coach Huggins has a very unique way of motivating you to do things that you didn’t even know you could do,” Butler said. “That motivation helped instill a different kind of confidence in myself because it just made me feel like I could do anything. Any obstacle that was thrown at me in life I could figure out because of how he prepared me. I’m forever grateful that I have him as a mentor.”

As the years go on, the more you see former West Virginia guys under Huggins go out and pursue a coaching career. Mazzulla, Butler, Darris Nichols, James Long and Juwan Staten are just the few of Huggins’ players that have the desire to try and become great head coaches one day.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently writes for The Daily Athenaeum and is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year with Blue Gold Sports—an USA Today credentialed outlet. He is from Cincinnati, OH.

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