John Havlicek: An Athletic Family History

On the basketball court, John Havlicek was an inspiring player—loved by his team, respected and feared by the competition. At home, though, he’s a father and a husband, and the Havlicek family story is one of both success and humility.

Chris Havlicek and family

It’s easy to say that John’s son, Chris, lived in the shadow of his father’s accomplishments. Chris played for the University of Virginia, and although he excelled both academically and athletically, he wasn’t drafted to the NBA.

Chris Havlicek and father John Havlicek at Boston Celtics game

Chris would move to Italy for a short-lived career as a pro basketball player. That could have been the end to the story, but Chris would find a new sport to focus his natural and genetically predisposed athleticism: team handball.

Popular in Europe, team handball is often described as a combination of basketball and soccer. Chris excelled in the sport, and he would eventually join the 1996 US Olympics Team Handball Team.

Chris Havlicek's brother-in-law Brian Buchanan

John Havlicek’s son-in-law, Brian Buchanan, led a successful Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball career. Known as a devilishly powerful pinch-hitter, he inspired the Franklin signature series batting glove, as he famously only wore one.