“The play of the game.” This is how Joe Mazzulla described the 26-year-old guard of the Celtics’ half-court shot at the end of the third quarter in Game 2. Of course, we are talking about No. 11, Payton Pritchard. Selected by Boston in 2020 as the 26th pick, Pritchard has emerged as a clutch shot genius off the bench for the Cs. Then again, they wouldn’t expect anything less from the 2020 Bob Cousy and Lute Olson Award recipient.

However, those who have been keeping tabs on the 6’1 Oregon native wouldn’t be that surprised by his stunning buzzer-beater from 34 feet. He’s been a spark off the bench for ‘Beantown’ throughout the season, often arriving at clutch periods and draining the threes. As per Celtics.com’s Taylor Snow, Payton and Jayson Tatum are tied (9) in the league for “made threes within the final four seconds of a quarter this season.”

Pritchard’s hardworking nature and willingness to take any risks thrown his way, not caring about what his numbers look like at the end of the day, have endeared him to Boston. However, it has managed to capture the heart of that special someone as well. As Payton finds himself a little more in the spotlight than earlier, many want to know more about his life. Well, more about his fiancée, really. But we’ll throw in a little about the man himself.


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Meet Emma MacDonald from New England, the woman of Pritchard’s dreams

Emma and Maggie, two sisters from Boston, have found much success as social media influencers and TikTok sensations. From posting little details like the coffee they have to talk about broader subjects like health, wellness, beauty, and fitness, the sister duo has amassed quite the following. But Emma MacDonald is our subject of interest.

Born on July 22, 2001, Emma grew up in Dennis, Mass., in Cape Cod, according to PEOPLE. But, as a child, the family often visited Boston, leading her to fall in love with the city. In fact, Forbes featured the two sisters in November 2020. And during the interview, she spoke of her admiration for the city. “It is a small city, which makes it manageable, but it truly has so much character. We are proud to call ourselves Bostonians because of how much this city has to offer.”


Her social media presence is spread across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. In all three platforms, Emma boasts a pretty amazing fan base. On IG, she has 362,000 followers. As for YT, the sisters started a podcast: Love Ya, Bye, where they have talked about “turning social media into careers and what it’s like being sisters and roommates,” as well as, “fan-submitted questions about building a brand, fashion, travel, relationships, and more.” As of writing this article, they have a modest 108 subscribers.

But don’t be fooled. The pod is available on Apple and Spotify, as well. And if that isn’t enough, Emma MacDonald also has a Hoo.be account. An exclusive invite-only platform for the industry’s top creators and influencers, fans can find all the links, products, affiliates, and more on a single page. Wild, no?

Suffice it to say that she’s living her life to the fullest. But wait, there is something else, too.

When Payton Pritchard popped the question …

It was in the 2023 offseason that Payton decided to get down on his knee for the love of his life. And he did it at a beach in Cape Cod. Yup, the same place Emma grew up in! Joined by family and friends for the wholesome moment, it was a thrilling day for the happy couple. Overcome with emotion and pure bliss, MacDonald posted the lovely photos that Pritchard’s friend and photographer Chase McCann captured.

Her caption says it all. “A love for a lifetime.”

Since things were made official, Emma has been busy with the preparations for the wedding. We all know how hectic that can be. But as per Payton, she is doing a brilliant job of holding down the fort. “She’s kind of handling everything, I’m just the final decision maker. If she’s in between a decision, I come in and make the final decision on it,” he said to NBC Sports Boston in Nov. 2023.

But how did the two meet?

“Hey …” “Hi”

As simple as that! Well… that’s just the first part of it. In one of her IG highlights from June 2023, the pair were on a 6-hour drive, so Emma went ahead and asked fans to submit their questions. Obviously, one of them will be, ‘How did you two meet?’ She let Pritchard answer that. The Pac-12 Player of the Year commented a simple “Hey …” on one of her posts. Emma, for her part, replied “Hi,” in his DM.

But later, in a 2023 YouTube video, Emma said that the IG exchange had happened in 2021 and it kind of just didn’t go anywhere. Nevertheless, fate seemed to have decided the two were going to be soulmates. A while after, the pair reconnected on the dating app ‘Raya’. Although there is no official confirmation as to when they actually started dating, the bride and groom-to-be first made their relationship official in February 2023. A few months after that, he asked her to be a part of his life forever.


And now, Emma has her hands full with picking out the venue, linens, glasses, menu, cake tasting, the RSVPs, and the most important of them, the wedding dress! Of course, there’s a lot more. And Payton is all along with it for the long haul! Hilariously, though, his priority, apparently, is to have a nice lounge after the ceremony and build the playlist, the 26-year-old told NBC Sports Boston. 

Now that we have all the details about Pritchard’s lovely fiancée, let’s quickly take a look at the man himself. 

“If you want to be great, you can’t be normal,”: The holy grail of Payton Pritchard

Watching the 6’1, 195-pound point guard come off the bench now, it would seem like many have forgotten just how spectacular Payton Pritchard was. Of course, the admiration and respect are there. Yet, this was a guy who was equally efficient in three different sports – baseball, football, and basketball. This was the guy who got homeschooled just so that he could use those extra hours for training, working out, and advancing his skills. The same boy who was following a rigid schedule at 10 and 12 years of age that was on par with college prospects!

And Pritchard has his parents to thank for the discipline he follows to this day when it comes to his favorite sport. Both his parents were big-time athletes. His father, Terry Pritchard, had played as a tight end at Oklahoma. As for his mother, Melissa was a gymnast and had competed at the same school as her would-be husband. Watching his son’s devotion and grit to be the best he possibly can be, Terry decided to treat him just the same. And his mantra to his son was, If you want to be great, you can’t be normal.


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The result was a young boy who showed great maturity from a young age and kept at it. And continues keeping it. However, in an article by Jay King of The Athletic, Terry admitted that he wondered if it was right to let his son miss out on so much. That too, at such a young age. Having decided to be homeschooled in eighth grade, Pritchard does have one regret – having given up football in high school. No, not because he wanted to pursue a career in the NFL. Rather, he wished he had those memories.


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But Pritchard Jr. had chosen basketball as his ultimate goal. And that’s what he stuck with. Clearly, it was the right choice. He was a standout player in both high school and college. From being named the Oregon State Player of the Year multiple times, leading the West Linn basketball team to four straight titles, to being the only freshman to star in the Final Four in his first year, and graduating as the all-time assists leader at Oregon, Pritchard established himself as a top recruit.

And now, he is en route to his first-ever NBA title, with one of the most elite squads in the league!