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Pro Bruin Rundown: Moses Brown traded to the Celtics, Michaela Onyenwere named Rookie of the Month

Former Bruin and current Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday secured the final defensive stop Saturday in overtime of game 7 against the Brooklyn Nets to earn his first career conference finals appearance. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Francis Moon

June 21, 2021 1:03 p.m.

This post was updated June 27 at 9:43 p.m.

Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks; Moses Brown, Boston Celtics, NBA

The last Bruin left standing in the NBA playoffs helped keep his team alive for at least another round this weekend.

Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, who started all 35 games for UCLA men’s basketball in 2008-2009 during his lone season in Westwood, was named to the second All-Defensive First Team of his career last week. Fittingly, it was his defense that sealed the win for Milwaukee in game seven of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Brooklyn Nets.

Despite shooting just 2-of-16 from the field through three quarters, the former All-Star stepped up in the clutch to drain several shots at the end of regulation before Nets forward Kevin Durant sent the game to overtime.

In the final seconds of the extra period, the Bucks once again found themselves up two with the ball in Durant’s hands. This time, Holiday forced the former MVP into an airball as time ran out to earn his first trip to the conference finals.

The guard finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, but shot just 38.1% from the field and 29.6% from beyond the arc against the Nets this series after making 18.8% of his long-range attempts in the first round, well below his season average of a career-high 39.2%.

Holiday and the Bucks will face the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals, beginning with game one Wednesday in Milwaukee.

Two days earlier, another former Bruin appeared in the NBA news cycle when the Oklahoma City Thunder sent center Moses Brown to the Boston Celtics in a package centered around guard Kemba Walker.

Brown, who averaged 8.6 points and 8.9 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game this season for the Thunder, played one season with the Bruins in 2018-2019 before turning pro.

Just a day before Brown signed his first multi-year NBA contract in late March, he tied Oklahoma City’s franchise single-game rebounding record with a 21-point, 23-rebound performance against his new team.

The 21-year-old will be joining his fourth NBA team in three years but will be playing on the East Coast – where he was born and raised – for the first time since high school. The 7-foot-2 center will have a chance to make an impression on a yet-to-be-named new Celtics coach and potentially provide valuable depth at the center position for Boston.

Michaela Onyenwere, New York Liberty, WNBA

In the WNBA, one rookie has separated herself from the rest so far this season.

Forward Michaela Onyenwere, who played for the Bruins from 2017-2021 before being drafted sixth overall by the New York Liberty earlier this year, was named the Kia Rookie of the Month for the first month of the season.

Onyenwere averaged 12.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game during the month of May. She leads all rookies in minutes per game, points per game, field goals made and three-pointers made while being the only one in her class to average double-digit points in May.

On May 29, Onyenwere recorded a career-high 29 points, including six three-pointers. After leading the Bruins in scoring for three straight seasons, she is currently the third-leading scorer on the Liberty among players who have played all 13 games.

The Liberty, who finished with the worst record in the league last season, currently sits at fourth overall with a 7-6 record. The early Rookie of the Year favorite has quickly made a name for herself in the WNBA and will try to help her team bounce back from its current streak of five losses in seven games to finish the first half of its season strong before the Olympic break.

Sam Mewis, USWNT/North Carolina Courage, NWSL

In the first of three Summer Series friendly matches to help prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, former Bruin midfielder Sam Mewis scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win for the U.S. over Portugal on Thursday night.

Mewis – the 2014 Pac-12 Player of the Year – broke the scoreless tie in the 76th minute with a header set up by a corner kick from Christen Press, good for her 22nd international goal.

Later in the week, Mewis scored her first goal of the National Women’s Soccer League season since returning from Manchester City in May, powering the Courage to a 2-1 victory over OL Reign on Saturday.

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Francis Moon | Assistant Sports editor
Moon is currently an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, men's soccer, track and field and cross country beats. He was previously a contributor on the women's basketball and women's tennis beats.
Moon is currently an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, men's soccer, track and field and cross country beats. He was previously a contributor on the women's basketball and women's tennis beats.
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