Spurs fans may not know it, but one of the team's bright new stars from the playoffs began his college career here in East Texas.
Francisco Elson is a former Kilgore Ranger and his former coach Scott Shumacher could not be prouder.
"To see him win an NBA championship is obviously the thrill of a lifetime for somebody that has coached someone like that," Shumacher said.
Francisco Elson is the first of Shumacher's players to win the highest basketball title in U.S. sports. Francisco played ball at Kilgore from 1995 to 1997. Raised in The Netherlands, Kilgore was Elson's first taste of American hoops.
"I can remember telling Francisco that everyday you're not in class or studying, you need to be lifting weights because when you are seven foot (tall) and can run like he can run, you have the chance to make money," Shumacher said.
Francisco got that chance as a second round draft pick by the Nuggets. He spent time with the Rockets before joining the Spurs and has had Shumacher's guidance and advice every step of the way. During the playoffs, Shumacher stayed tuned.
"Even my wife knew at the house as soon as Francisco checked in we all watched the television to see how he was doing and see if they would mention Kilgore College. They mentioned it in the conference semi-finals."
Coach Shumacher said even though he and Francisco have been in frequent contact, this week has been a little more difficult to catch up with the champ. But, Coach said he knows one thing he will ask as soon as they talk.
"Actually what I'd like to do is get him back here in a Kilgore College uniform and let him run around like he is for the San Antonio Spurs right now."