The Milwaukee Bucks celebrate with the championship trophy. Elijah Bryant is on the top row of players wearing hats, two to the left of the trophy.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

BYU alumnus Elijah Bryant, Milwaukee Bucks win NBA Championship

The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games to win the NBA Championship on Tuesday, giving BYU alumnus Elijah Bryant a ring in his first season with the team.

Bryant is the first former Cougar to win an NBA Championship as a player since Danny Ainge won with the Boston Celtics in 1986. Ainge also won a title as an executive with the Celtics in 2008.

The Bucks were led by Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 50 points in the decisive victory in Milwaukee, beating the Suns 105-98. Bryant saw the floor for just a few seconds in the Finals but made a contribution off the bench in the earlier playoff series for the Bucks.

During the 2021 playoffs, Bryant put up totals of 14 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal. He joined the team in May after playing overseas in Israel for almost three years.

Bryant played at BYU from 2016-2018 after transferring from Elon University. He signed a two-year contract with the Bucks, but will likely have to prove himself in training camp in the fall to make the final roster for the 2021-2022 season when the team looks to repeat as champions.

This is the first NBA Championship for the Bucks since 1971, and first for every player on the team. Bryant is joined by Utah State alumnus and fellow Latter-day Saint Sam Merrill as rookies on the squad.

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