Celtics

4 things to know about Sam Hauser

The Celtics converted Hauser from a two-way deal to a standard contract Friday.

Celtics fans will likely grow to know Sam Hauser for his 3-point shot, but there's more to him than that. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

After trading out seven players and bringing back just two on Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, the Celtics have gotten to work on filling out the rest of their roster for the season’s homestretch.

Forward Sam Hauser was a beneficiary of that. The Celtics converted Hauser’s two-way deal to a standard NBA contract on Friday, securing him a roster spot through the end of the season.

Here are four things to know about Hauser.

He’s a 3-point specialist.

One thing Hauser’s brought to the table for much of his basketball career is his ability to hit the deep shot. It’s a reason why he was able to contribute as a freshman at Marquette in the 2016-17 season. He hit 45.3 percent of his 3-pointers that season while shooting 4.3 per game.

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Hauser got even better from deep his sophomore season, making 48.7 percent of his 3-pointers on 5.6 attempts per game. That mark was the best in the Big East in 2017-18 and the third-best in the country that season, solidifying Hauser as one of the best shooters in college.

There was a dip in Hauser’s made 3-pointers his junior season, but he still shot above 40 percent from deep by making 40.2 percent of his 3-pointers on 6.4 attempts per game.

Hauser’s 3-point stroke moved with him when he transferred from Marquette to Virginia. After sitting out the 2019-20 season due to the NCAA’s transfer rule, Hauser drained 3-pointers again in the 2021-22 season, making 41.7 percent of his shots from deep on six attempts per game. Hauser led the ACC in 3-point percentage that season, and his 50.3 percent shooting from the field and 89.6 percent shooting from the free-throw line helped him become one of the best scorers in the ACC at 16 points per game.

The Celtics scooped up Hauser after he went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft, adding him to their roster for Summer League. The deeper 3-point line wasn’t an issue for Hauser, as he made 46.2 percent of his 3-pointers in Summer League. Hauser signed a two-way contract with the Celtics, allowing him to play for their G-League team, the Maine Celtics.

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Hauser’s been making his 3-pointers in Maine, shooting 41.7 percent from deep on 10.8 attempts per game.

Because he was on a two-way deal, Hauser hasn’t gotten much run with the Celtics this season. He’s mostly played in the final minutes of blowouts, appearing in 10 games, and he’s shooting just 4 of 14 (28.6 percent) from deep. While Celtics fans might hope Hauser develops into the next Duncan Robinson, it’s likely he won’t see much playing time even after signing a standard deal as coach Ime Udoka has used shorter rotations as of late.

His first sentence could describe why he became such a good shooter.

Growing up outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Hauser grew up in a sports environment. Hauser played multiple sports as a kid, and like many young children, he had a Nerf basketball hoop.

That hoop was the inspiration for the first sentence Hauser blurted out when he wasn’t even 2 years old.

“The first two-word sentence that Sam ever put together was ‘Me shooty,’” Stephanie Hauser, Hauser’s mother, told The Virginian Pilot. “He had a little tiny hoop with a Nerf ball.”

It was around that time too that Hauser’s mother noticed that her son had a natural shooting stroke.

“I said, ‘Dave (Hauser’s father), look at his follow-through when he shoots his little Nerf ball,’” Hauser said. “It was unbelievable. I said, ‘Did you teach him that?’ He said, ‘I’ve never taught him anything.’”

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Hauser’s father coached him through his youth. In the same interview with The Virginian Pilot, Hauser’s father recalled the competitive nature his son had when he was just in third grade.

“He said, ‘But dad, I want to win,’” Hauser’s father recalled when he asked his son to pass the ball to his teammates.

He was part of an exclusive research team at Virginia.

In just two years at Virginia, Hauser not only made an impact on the court, he also made an impact off of it, too.

Hauser enrolled in UVA’s School of Education and Human Development as a youth and social innovation major. Associate professor Paul Harris accepted Hauser on his research team, which accepts just two undergrad students each year.

As part of Harris’s research team, Hauser worked to catalog collegiate programs around America that help African American athletes. Harris was impressed by his pupil’s work.

“There are a lot of programs out there in higher education that might serve student-athletes or Black student-athletes, but may not really dig into the nuance of what college career readiness and indicators are, and so Sam really had to listen to me and probably even read some of my work to know what programs would really be congruent with the work that I’m doing and what I’m interested in,” Harris said in an article for Virginia’s website.

“To that end, I was impressed by what he found and how congruent those programs were with the work that I’m doing. He wasn’t just grabbing from anywhere. He had to find some research-based programs with evidence-based practices.”

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Hauser also worked with Harris on another research project that focused on the history of African American athletic participation at the school. Harris believes the work Hauser did with him will go a long way when his basketball career ends.

“He’s investing in ways right now that will lend themselves well to what he wants to do after his playing days,” Harris said. “I love that.”

Hauser has mentioned a willingness to coach basketball in the future, but he isn’t “100 percent sure” if he wants to do that, according to Virginia’s profile on him.

His brother is a pretty good basketball player, too.

Dave and Stephanie Hauser raised a pretty athletic family. Sam, of course, is now an NBA player after playing Division 1 basketball in major conferences. Their daughter, Nicki, played volleyball at Southern Connecticut State University.

They also have another son that plays basketball, Joey. The youngest Hauser is two years younger than Sam Hauser and actually played with his older brother at Marquette. However, he wasn’t able to play in the 2017-18 season after enrolling for the spring semester due to an ankle injury.

When the Hauser brothers shared the court in 2018-19, they became the college game’s version of the splash brothers. Sam Hauser was already one of the country’s best shooters, making 40.2 percent of his 3-pointers in the 2018-19 season, while Joey Hauser made 42.5 percent of his 3-pointers. The duo helped Marquette reach the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Ja Morant and Murray State in the first round.

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That was the only year the Hauser brothers were able to share the court in college, though. Both decided to transfer following that season, with Sam going to Virginia and Joey going to Michigan State.

“It was excruciating to watch the boys go through the realization that they were possibly going to split,” Stephanie Hauser told The Virginian Pilot. “They really struggled with that. It was really painful for them. They didn’t want to accept the fact that they both liked a place a little better than the other. For Dave and I, it was not a surprise. We actually encouraged them to think about it. They were the ones that said, ‘Nope. We’re going together, we’re going together.’”

Joey Hauser hasn’t had the same scoring prowess his brother had after leaving Marquette, but he’s been a key contributor for a Michigan St. team that’s one of the best in the nation. He’s averaging 7.2 points and six rebounds per game while 36.7 percent from deep.

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