Lansing Sexton alum joins rare air by capturing NBA Finals trophy

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – On Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks ended their 50-year NBA title drought by defeating the Phoenix Suns, 105-98, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

The star of the show was 2-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 50 points in the clinching game and would go on to win the Bill Russell Finals MVP award.

The win by Milwaukee also means Lansing Sexton alum and former Michigan State guard Bryn Forbes captures his first NBA title. Forbes played 22 minutes in the six-game series and scored nine points for the Bucks.

Forbes also joins some elite company, when it comes to basketball in Lansing.

With the win, Forbes becomes just the third Lansing native to capture an NBA title. Lansing Everett alum, Magic Johnson was the first to do it, with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980. Lansing Eastern alum, Sam Vincent captured his title in 1986 with the Boston Celtics.

Johnson went on to win a total of five titles in his career, with the last one coming in 1988.

“Bryn’s always been relentless in the way he attacks life. The way he attacks basketball, training, just the way he goes at everything,” Forbes’ high school coach, Carlton Valentine said. “Everywhere Bryn has played, he’s won. And now he won the ultimate prize, an NBA championship. I can’t wait to see that ring.”

Valentine is the father of former Sexton and MSU basketball standout Denzel Valentine and coached Denzel and Bryn to back-to-back state titles at Sexton. In fact, it was when the two were 8-years-old and playing against one another when Carlton first saw Forbes on a basketball court.

“They were lighting each other up because they were playing ten under, but they both were eight. When the game was over I said ‘Who’s that kid?’ and they said his name was ‘Bryn’, and I said ‘How old is he?’ and they said ‘8’.”

Carlton was Forbes’ coach and trainer up until he went off to college, and has seen him take anything but the easy route. In high school, he was offered a chance to walk-on at Michigan State but decided to spend his first two years of college at Cleveland State.

Forbes then transferred to MSU, in 2014, to get closer to his sister, Erin, who was dealing with health issues. After sending two years at MSU, Forbes would test out the NBA draft in 2016 but would go undrafted. He signed his first NBA contract with the San Antonio Spurs and played a majority of his first two seasons in the development league.

In 2019 and 2020, Forbes had his breakthrough and made the starting rotation for the Spurs, averaging 11 points per game, which led to him signing a two-year, $4.7 million deal with the Bucks in November of 2020.

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