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Call him Doc Stevens?

4/4/2014

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens will receive an honorary doctorate from Butler University at the school's commencement ceremony next month.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Celtics coach Brad Stevens will receive an honorary doctorate from Butler University.Stevens, who spent 13 years with the Butler basketball program, couldn't commit to attending the ceremony on May 10 when the university called recently, but once the Celtics were formally eliminated from playoff contention on Monday night, he informed his former employer that he'd be available.

"It’s an honor to be there," said Stevens. "That place does mean a lot to [the Stevens family], so for them to do that for us, we’re thrilled to have that opportunity."

Stevens earned a bachelor's degree in Economics from DePauw University in 1999. A reporter jokingly asked Stevens if we'd have to call him Doc Stevens from now on.

"It’s funny, I just said, 'Man, I had big shoes to fill,'" Stevens joked while referencing former Celtics coach (and not an actual doctor) Doc Rivers. "I’m trying, I’m doing my very best."

Stevens, an Indianapolis native, spent six seasons as head coach at Butler, leading the Bulldogs to five NCAA tournament appearances, including a pair of national title games. He signed a six-year, $22 million contract to coach the Celtics in July.

"We didn’t have a formal opportunity to thank Brad or celebrate the many contributions he made to the Butler community," Butler President James M. Danko said in the school's announcement. "So for us, this will be that chance. Brad was a dedicated member of the Butler community for more than a dozen years, and still maintains close ties to the University. It is wholly appropriate that we honor him at Commencement with his first Butler degree."