Gaffney signs deal with hometown Celtics

Former Massachusetts men’s basketball player Tony Gaffney’s dream has finally come true.

Gaffney signed a nonguaranteed contract with the Boston Celtics Tuesday afternoon, and it is possible that he could be with the team in Chicago when they take on the Bulls Tuesday night.

Gaffney was signed along with Oliver Lafayette, and both players will be around for the Celtics season finale Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks, as well as the playoffs.

After leaving UMass, Gaffney – a lifelong Celtics fan from Somerset, MA. – signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

With Los Angeles being the first team to offer him a contract, Gaffney said it was easy to switch his allegiances.

“I immediately went from a die-hard Celtics fan to a die-hard Lakers fan,” Gaffney said last August.

“That part was easy,” Gaffney later added. “They were the first team to give me the opportunity to play in the NBA, and it was easy falling in love with the Lakers organization.”

After playing for their summer league team after not getting drafted, Gaffney was offered an invitation to the Lakers preseason camp, but he was later cut. Gaffney then went to play overseas in Israel before breaking his foot.

Now, Gaffney will have to switch his allegiances back to where they all began, with the Celtics being the first NBA team to give him a legitimate shot at actually playing in an NBA game. Gaffney will most likely see more time with the team this summer, with the Celtics joining the Orlando Summer League.

As a senior for the Minutemen, Gaffney averaged a double-double with 11.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while also ranking third in the country with and 3.8 blocks per game.

Gaffney’s younger brother, Bud is a junior walk-on guard for UMass who transferred from Wheaton College, and has two years of eligibility left with the Minutemen.

Jeffrey R. Larnard can be reached at jlarnard@dailycollegian.com.

David Brinch can be reached at dbrinch@student.umass.edu.

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