San Joaquin Memorial alum Lopez wins NBA title, Giannis celebrates with his Fresno family


Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) slam dunks over Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22), guard Devin Booker and forward Jae Crowder, right, during the second half of Game 6 of basketball’s NBA Finals Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

MILWAUKE, Wisc. – An NBA veteran with Fresno roots can now call himself an NBA champion.

Former San Joaquin Memorial High School star Brook Lopez, who moved with his family to Fresno in elementary school, helped the Milwaukee Bucks clinch the franchise’s first NBA Championship in 50 years on Tuesday night, as the Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

Lopez finished with 10 points in the clincher, which included six straight points in a 1:31 stretch of the third quarter. The impressive stretch featured a huge dunk off a nice setup from Jrue Holiday.

The biggest story of Game 6 though, was another guy with ties to Fresno, Giannis Antetokounmpo. He would claim NBA Finals MVP, after one of the greatest performances in Finals history, as he finished with 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.

And shortly after the final buzzer, Giannis would celebrate on the court with members of his Fresno family, hugging his significant other Mariah Riddlesprigger and Mariah’s father Pat, a former Fresno State basketball player, who is now an Athletic Manager for the Fresno Unified School District. Mariah is a former volleyball star at Bullard High and Rice University. She and Giannis have a young son named Liam, and another baby is on the way.

Brook of course, has a twin brother Robin, who also plays in the NBA. Both brothers are known to poke fun at each other, and that was on display Tuesday night, when Robin tweeted he was watching something else during the final minutes of Game 6.

Quincy Pondexter, a former NBA player himself, and a former high school teammate of the Lopez brothers at Memorial, was a little more complimentary of Brook’s play Tuesday night.

And the twitter account for the San Joaquin Memorial basketball program also gave some love to their famous alum.

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