BOSTON -- Brad Stevens and his wife, Tracy, were handing out pizza at their annual summer basketball camp at Butler University when a prospective student and her mother wandered through while touring the facilities. The mother seemed to suspect she knew Stevens, but he played coy and she quickly moved on to more pressing interests.
"[The mother] said, ‘You look familiar' and I was like, ‘Just serving pizza at camp,’" recalled Stevens. "She said, ‘Do I know you?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know. What’s your name?’ And she said, ‘Anyways, where do they keep that dog?’ That was all of our places at Butler -- we were clearly on the next level [below the English bulldog that serves as team mascot]."
Butler Blue III, the team's latest mascot, visited TD Garden before Friday's game after Stevens' last employer was ousted in the first-round of the Big East tournament earlier this week. Blue III -- nicknamed Trip -- invaded Stevens' office and took a lap around the Garden floor.
"[Dog owner] Michael Kaltenmark had planned that trip up here and it was fun to see [Blue III] in here," said Stevens. "He came by the office and went out on the floor for a minute. Did what he does: He just finds his way into buildings."
Later Stevens added: "It was nice of them to come up and visit us. You just heard my kids walk by, I know they are going to spend some quality time with him that’s for sure."
Check out the photos of Trip's Garden tour on Butler Blue III's Flickr stream: