Fairbanks’ Mike Dunlap wins NBA Championship as Assistant Coach
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - When the Milwaukee Bucks closed out the Phoenix Suns Tuesday to win the 2021 NBA Finals, it was history for the franchise, winning its first title in 50 years. It was also history for Fairbanks, as Bucks Assistant Coach Mike Dunlap became the first Fairbanks-born person to win an NBA Championship.
Dunlap, a 1976 Lathrop High School graduate, joined the Milwaukee coaching staff last offseason and in his first year, was a part of a championship run the city has not seen in a half century.
Prior to his return to the NBA coaching ranks, Dunlap led the program of his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University, for six years. He was the first Alaskan NBA Head Coach when he took over the Charlotte Bobcats in 2012-13.
Other Alaskans to win an NBA Championship include Anchorage’s Mario Chalmers, who won two rings as a player for the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, as well as Anchorage’s Trajan Langdon, who was a scout for the San Antonio Spurs during their 2014 championship season.
Dunlap is known as the first Alaskan to finish their collegiate basketball career at a Division I school when he graduated from LMU in 1980. As a standout basketball and baseball player at Lathrop, Dunlap played third base for the Alaska Goldpanners in the 1970s. Other notable coaching gigs include his time as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets from 2006-2008. He won two NCAA Division II National Championships in 2000 and 2002 at Metropolitan State, becoming the first Alaskan to win an NCAA basketball national championship as a head coach. Dunlap also spent three seasons at the helm for the Adelaide 36ers (Australia) in the National Basketball League (NBL). Other collegiate coaching stops for Dunlap include Cal Lutheran University, the University of Arizona, the University of Oregon and St. John’s University.
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