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2022 NBA Draft: Jaden Ivey's mom was in the WNBA and his dad played in the NFL

Joshua Rogers June 22, 2022
jaden ivey parents mom and dad
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Ahead of the 2022 NBA Draft, we find out more aboutJaden Ivey’s parents. Did you know his mom played in the WNBA and his dad is a former NFL player?

The 2022 NBA Draft is almost here, with the annual event taking place on Thursday (23 June) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn 

This year there’s a ton of talent vying for the top overall pick. The likes of Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith and Paolo Banchero are widely tipped to be selected with the first few picks, although the order remains to be seen.

The Orlando Magic have the No.1 overall pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder have No. 2, the Houston Rockets have No.3 and the Sacramento Kings have No.4.

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However, one name that’s quietly going under the radar is former Purdue Boilermaker Jaden Ivey.

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Ivey could be a top-five pick in 2022 draft

20-year-old Jaden Ivey was a consensus second-team All-American this season and led Purdue to the Sweet 16 of this year’s NCAA Tournament.

As a sophomore last season, the 6ft 4in point guard averaged 17.3 points and 3.1 assists shooting 35.8 per cent from three-point range. On 31 March 2022, Ivey declared for the 2022 NBA draft, forgoing his remaining college eligibility, and was immediately projected as a top-five pick.

He has drawn comparisons to Ja Morant and Dwayne Wade

Plenty of teams are rumoured to be interested in the point guard, who has drawn comparisons to Ja Morant and Dwayne Wade due to his speed, size and explosiveness at the guard position.

The New York Knicks are thought to be interested in his services, but with only the 11th overall pick they would likely have to give up a lot to acquire a top-five lottery pick.

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Jaden Ivey’s parents – meet mom Niele who played in the WNBA

Jaden Ivy’s parents are mom Niele Ivey and father Javin Hunter. The point guard is from an incredibly high-performing sports family as his mother Niele played in the WNBA for five seasons and is now head women’s basketball coach at Notre Dame. She was also an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA.

Niele was born 24 September 1977 in Saint Louis, Missouri, to Thomas and Theresa Ivey. She was the youngest of five children and the only daughter.

She went on to play as a point guard at the University of Notre Dame and was an All-American player there. She had a stellar college career and became the 17th player in school history to record more than 1,000 career points while leading the Irish women to their first NCAA Championship in 2001.

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Youngster has ‘amazing’ relationship with his mom

In the WNBA, Niele played for the Indiana Fever, Detroit Shock and Phoenix Mercury, finishing her career with 408 points including more than 100 in two separate seasons. Niele became pregnant with Jaden as she played her rookie season and raised him as a single mother while continuing to play basketball.

“I remember having moments it was so hard,” Ivey told Indy Star. “I sacrificed, we both did, but we both learned how to navigate together. I’ve been very blessed.”

Jaden said of his mom: “She was always in the gym, so I was too. Our relationship is amazing. She’s always there.”

“My mom’s the reason why, when I’m knocked down, I’ve got to get back up,” Jaden told Jcon Line. “I’m thankful for the opportunities with my mother – those late nights in the gym. That’s definitely shaped me in a positive way.”

Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Jaden Ivey’s dad played in the NFL

Jaden’s father, Javin Hunter, was equally athletic and played as a wide receiver for Notre Dame when he met Niele on campus. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, and also played a season for the San Francisco 49ers.

Hunter’s father James (Jaden’s grandfather) also played in the NFL. He was the tenth player picked in the 1976 NFL Draft and played as a defensive back for the Detroit Lions.

Javin now reportedly lives outside Indiana but has been in regular contact with Jaden throughout his life. Jaden has one brother, Jordan Hunter, from another relationship of his father’s.

Where do you think Jaden Ivy will be drafted? Let us know in the comments below!

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.