It was personal for Jaden Ivey, in a wholesome way.
With the fifth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons have selected guard Purdue and completed a full run for him and his family.
Ivey’s mother, Notre Dame women’s head coach Niele Ivey, played for the WNBA’s Detroit Shock, her grandfather James Hunter played for the NFL’s Detroit Lions, and her father Javin Hunter, a former NFL wide receiver was born in Detroit.
Now Ivey is heading to the same town. He was visibly emotional after his name was called at Madison Square Garden, with his mother by his side (video above).
After breaking down in tears during an ESPN interview, Ivey was also able to meet Spike Lee backstage.
Ivey averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in his second season at Purdue, earning consensus second-team All-American honors. “Explosive” is a common word in his scouting reports, which he combines with a 6-foot-9 wingspan to form an effective finisher on offense and a threat on defense.
The 20-year-old figures to create one of the most exciting young backyards in the NBA alongside 2021 No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham, who finished third in Rookie of the Year voting last season after being strong for the past few months.
Almost every mock draft had Ivey ranked fourth overall for the Sacramento Kings, but with the odd caveat that a trade was suspected. While Ivey was the consensus No. 4 prospect in the draft and the best backcourt player, he had no contact with the Kings in the pre-draft process, leading the team to select Keegan Murray of Iowa with the pick.