Notre Dame's Pat Connaughton develops NBA fashion flair
When Pat Connaughton became a second-round selection in the NBA draft last June, the former Notre Dame standout knew he'd have to up his game.
His clothing game.
Back in college, it was common for Connaughton to walk into Purcell Pavilion 90 minutes before tip dressed like a typical college kid - blue jeans, a sweater, Timberland boots and, in homage to his Boston roots, a New England Patriots knit hat. For special occasions, Connaughton might break out a middle-of-the-road sport coat.
That wasn't going to cut it in the NBA, where part of the game now is seeing what the players are wearing BEFORE they go play.
Now a rookie with the Portland Trail Blazers, Connaughton had his "A" wardrobe game working prior to Saturday's home playoff game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Connaughton walked through a Moda Center back door in a conservative blue suit, but it was what was inside the suit coat that set him apart.
Lined within the fabric of the back of the coat was a reprint photo of the Golden Dome.
"Always repping ND," Conanughton told NDI in a text message shortly after being photographed with the Dome-themed suit coat. "I've really upped my (clothing) game since ND."
Connaughton appeared in 23 games as a rookie guard with the Blazers. He averaged 1.1 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 4.2 minutes per game. Through the first round of the playoffs, Connaughton was averaging 2.5 points and had appeared in two of the first three games in the first-round series.
And as for that look of jeans, Tims and the knit hat?
"Hahahah RIP to that look," Connaughton texted to NDI.