Friday, June 24, 2022

Famous fathers of the 2022 NBA Draft.

June 23, 2022 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( Following a memorable and historic 75th anniversary season for the NBA that culminated in the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA championship over the Boston Celtics, the 2022 NBA Draft quickly followed less than two weeks after Golden State was crowned champions. This year’s NBA Draft features a number of versatile and interesting young men with fascinating backgrounds. It was appropriate that this year’s NBA Draft features a number of NBA Draft prospects who had fathers who garnered media attention during their own professional careers.


The 2022 NBA Draft occurred on the same week as Father’s Day and Juneteenth, which were both on June 19th, 2022, and there are a number of African/Black NBA Draftees who look to add to the same positive notoriety that Stephen and Dell Curry, Klay and Mychal Thompson, Gary II and Gary Payton have as sons and fathers who both had won NBA championships in their respective careers. Here are some of the interesting links between some 2022 NBA Draftees and their famous fathers:

-Auburn forward Jabari Smith (son of former NBA player Jabari Smith Sr.): Many basketball analysts feel that Jabari Smith will end up having the best career out of anyone in this NBA Draft. His size and talents shone brightly during his one season at Auburn. While he didn’t go the same college as his dad, Jabari Sr., he did take the path to the same SEC conference his father did as the elder Smith attended LSU compared to son’s Auburn. The elder Smith, was a former LSU standout, who spent parts of four seasons in the NBA and concluded his basketball career overseas and told his son, “Just play the right way. Don’t ever look at the cameras, always respect the game and play the right way and just play to win.” The advice is paying off the former Auburn star turned 2022 NBA Draft pick.

-Purdue guard Jaden Ivey (son of former NFL player Javin Hunter): Easily one of the more exciting NBA prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft is Jaden Ivey. His family background is exciting as well as it was highlighted throughout March Madness that his mother is current Notre Dame women’s basketball head coach Niele Ivey, who had a successful college basketball and WNBA career herself before getting into coaching. Jaden’s father is former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Javin Hunter and he wanted Jaden to play football when Jaden was growing up and while he did, Jaden focused more on basketball during his high school years. He certainly has an athletic pedigree for success.

-Vanderbilt guard Scotty Pippen Jr. (son of former NBA player Scottie Pippen): There were links to the NBA throughout the college career of Scotty Pippen Jr. Not only his last name but he played at Vanderbilt under head coach Jerry Stackhouse, who had a successful NBA playing career before he got into coaching. Pippen Jr’s name might garner some double takes from sports fans who saw it for the first time as it is not spelled “Scottie” like longtime NBA fans know about his father. However, the elder Pippen, one of the greatest NBA players ever, was born with the name “Scotty Maurice Pippen” and has gone with the spelling “Scottie” for decades for an interesting reason. One of elder Scottie’s former Bulls teammates, Ron Harper, also has a son as a 2022 NBA Draft prospect. But no one in the 2022 NBA Draft has a father as famous as Shareef O’Neal given his father’s numerous TV ads but they didn’t see eye-to-eye on Shareef’s professional basketball decisions.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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