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BOSTON (LifeSiteNews) — The head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics again left reporters speechless after his team took a 2-0 lead against the Dallas Mavericks in this year’s NBA Finals. 

Joe Mazzulla, 35, has been at the helm of the historic Celtics franchise since mid-season last year. He previously served as an assistant then took the head coach role on an interim basis. In 2023, he was one of three finalists for the prestigious Coach of the Year award. 

Mazzulla’s squad bested the Mavericks 105-98 Sunday night at TD Garden in downtown Boston. The team needs only two more victories to capture the franchise’s 18th NBA title. 

Following the win, Mazzulla was asked by Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports whether he takes “pride” in the fact that the head coaches of both teams in the Finals are black for the first time since 1975. 

Mazzulla, a devout Catholic of mixed-race heritage who was born in Rhode Island to a Sicilian father and African American mother, responded in epic fashion.  

“I wonder how many of those have been Christian coaches,” he said. 

The answer stunned the press corps, who sat in silence with no follow-up question or further remark given by Mazzulla. 

Mazzulla made similar headlines in 2022 for witnessing to his faith after a game that was attended by England’s Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton. 

An excited female reporter asked him if he had met with “the royal family.”  

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph?” he replied with a straight face. 

The reporter giggled then clarified she was talking about “the prince and princess of Wales.” 

“Oh, no, I did not,” Mazulla retorted, as reporters sat in silence. “I’m only familiar with one royal family. I don’t know too much about that one.” 

Mazulla was hired as an assistant by the Celtics in 2019, having coached at NCAA Division II Fairmont State the previous two seasons. He played college basketball at West Virginia University. He is married and has two children. 

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