Boston Celtics

Tkachuk sends message to Tatum after Panthers' Stanley Cup win

The former grade-school classmates just became champions in the same year.

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The real winner of the last seven days in the professional sports world might be Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis.

Last Monday, St. Louis native and Chaminade alum Jayson Tatum hoisted the Larry O'Brien Trophy when his Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals to secure their 18th championship in franchise history.

Exactly one week later, St. Louis native and Chaminade alum Matthew Tkachuk hoisted the Stanley Cup when his Florida Panthers defeated the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final to win their first championship in franchise history.

Tatum and Tkachuk don't just share an alma mater, however. They were actually classmates at Chaminade and good friends who even participated in school projects together.

After Tatum completed the job last Monday, the C's star put the ball in Tkachuk's court to win another championship for St. Louis.

Tkachuk's Panthers nearly blew it, losing Games 4, 5 and 6 after surging to a 3-0 series lead over the Oilers. But after winning Game 7 at home on Monday to secure the Stanley Cup, Tkachuk sent a touching message to his former classmate.

"Hey, two champs from St. Louis, are you kidding me right now? You kidding me?" Tkachuk told the What Chaos! show. "Chaminade, everybody there, all the teachers, classmates, you guys should all be very proud. Two champs, baby."

Tatum and Tkachuk indeed made St. Louis proud, as both players are stars on their respective teams who helped their franchises get over the hump after recent losses in the championship round (Boston in the 2022 NBA Finals and Florida in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final).

No word on whether this is the first time two former grade school teammates won championships in different sports in the same year, but at the very least, Chaminade should be taking a victory lap Tuesday morning.

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