SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The Boston Celtics remain one of the NBA’s most popular teams with current stars and a rich history of success.

Spanning through New England, the impact reached the family of Cooper Flagg in Newport, Maine. Growing up with his brothers, Ace and Hunter, becoming Celtics fans was instilled early on from their parents, who both played college basketball in Maine.

“It’s just our culture,” Cooper’s mom, Kelly Flagg, told NESN.com at the HoopHall Classic. “I love it. My husband loves it. We always have it on. We’re huge Celtics fans. We used to watch film on the Celtics with the older guys – (Larry) Bird, (Kevin) McHale, (Robert) Parish, (Danny) Ainge – who was my guy. We had that on. We bought the kids the 1985-86 Celtics DVD set. That was Cooper’s Christmas present when he was eight. When we traveled to AAU events down here in Massachusetts, it would play in our van.”

Cooper’s love for the Celtics continued as he got older, consistently asking for Celtics and Duke University gear for Christmas. With the current Boston teams, one superstar combines those passions in Jayson Tatum, who played his college ball with the Blue Devils before the Celtics drafted him in the first round in the 2017 NBA Draft.

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As the top high school recruit in the nation, Flagg committed to Duke back in October and has formed a solid relationship with Tatum.

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“He reached out to me during the recruiting process,” Flagg told NESN.com on Friday. “Obviously, I was at his camp over the summer. Having that relationship and him being a player I model my game after and watched for a long time is really inspiring. Someone that I just like to watch and take a lot of things from. He’s a really special player.”

Tatum is in the midst of another productive season with the Celtics while Flagg finishes out his high school career before stepping to the college level.

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Featured image via Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports Images