2011 NBA Draft: Lots of Draft Hopefuls Have Family Ties to Sports

Dave-Te' ThomasContributor IIJune 15, 2011

Kemba Walker Leads UConn to the Title
Kemba Walker Leads UConn to the TitleRonald Martinez/Getty Images

Every year, quite a few players eligible for the National Basketball Association draft come from families rich in athletic tradition. Here is a list of those who had family members compete at either the collegiate or professional level in the world of sports:

KEITH BENSON: Center/Power Forward, Oakland University Golden Grizzlies

Father, Keith Benson Sr., played basketball at Jackson State (1972-76)…Uncle, Hilton Hale, played at both Northwestern and San Diego State…Uncle, Emanuel Leaks, played college ball at Niagara and competed in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers (1972) and Washington Bullets (1973).

DAVIS BERTANS: Small Forward/Power Forward, Union Olimpija Ljubjana

Younger brother of VEF Riga guard Dairis Bertans.

GILBERT BROWN, Jr.: Shooting Guard/Small Forward, University of Pittsburgh Panthers

Cousin, Troy Drayton played tight end for the football team at Penn State. He was selected in the second round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the then-Los Angeles Rams and last played for Kansas City in 2000.

NORRIS COLE: Point Guard, Cleveland State University Vikings

Cousin, Trent Cole, was an All-Big East Conference defensive end at Cincinnati and is presently a starting defensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles.

MALCOLM HAKEEM DELANEY: Point Guard, Virginia Polytechnic (Tech) Institute Hokies

Father, Vincent Delaney, Sr., played basketball at Vorhees College…Older brother, Vincent Jr., played football at Stonehill College.

JON KEITH DIEBLER: Shooting Guard, The Ohio State University Buckeyes

Father, Keith Diebler, was Jon’s head basketball coach at Upper Sandusky High…Brother, Jake, played basketball at Valparaiso.

DIANTE GARRETT: Point Guard, Iowa State University Cyclones

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native is the third member of his family to excel in basketball.

His father, Dick Garrett, was teammates with Walt "Clyde" Frazier at Southern Illinois, helping the Salukis to the 1967 NIT title. Dick played five seasons in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers, Buffalo Braves, New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 10.3 points per game…Diante’s brother, Damon, played basketball at UW-Whitewater.

JORDAN HAMILTON: Shooting Guard/Small Forward, University of Texas Longhorns

Older brother, Gary, played basketball at the University of Miami from 2003-06 and went on to play professionally in Israel (2006-09) before joining the Shiga Lakestars (2009-11) in Japan.

BENJAMIN HANSBROUGH: Point/Shooting Guard, University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Ben is the third in his immediate family to participate in collegiate sports, as brother Tyler was a three-time All-American basketball standout at the University of North Carolina and current member of the Indiana Pacers...Father, Gene, was a high jumper for Missouri...His mother, Tami, was Miss Missouri 1978...His uncle, Corby Fister, played in the Atlanta Braves organization, and another uncle, Sean Fister, won the world long drive champion-ship in golf three times.

JUSTIN HARPER: Power Forward, University of Richmond Spiders

Father, Ollie Harper, played basketball for Niagara University from 1974-78 and was inducted into the Niagara Athletics Hall of Fame in October, 2007.

TOBIAS HARRIS: Small Forward, University of Tennessee Volunteers

Father, Torrel Harris, played collegiate at Duquesne and Murray State...Older sister, Tesia, earned third-team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors playing basketball at the University of Delaware in 2009-10 and is sitting out the 2010-11 season after transferring to St. John's...Cousin of Phoenix Suns center Channing Frye.

COURDON “Cory” HIGGINS: Point Guard/Shooting Guard, University of Colorado Buffaloes

Father, Rod Higgins, was a standout basketball player at Fresno State and played in the NBA for 13 years with the Bulls, Kings, Warriors and Cavaliers (1982-1995). Rod served as the general manager of the Charlotte Bobcats and was recently promoted to director of basketball operations for the Bobcats…Older brother Rick was a member of the Colorado basketball team during the 2009-10 season.

JUSTIN HOLIDAY: Shooting Guard/Small Forward, University of Washington Huskies

Brother, Jrue Holiday, was an All-American for the UCLA Bruins basketball team and was selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.

KYRIE IRVING: Point Guard/Shooting Guard, Duke University Blue Devils

Father, Drederick Irving, played at Boston University from 1984-88 and scored 14 points in the Terriers’ 85-69 loss to Duke in the opening round of the 1988 NCAA Tournament. Drederick had his jersey retired and ranks second in BU history with 1,931 career points. He went on to play professionally in Australia for the Bulleen Boomers.

TERRENCE JENNINGS: Power Forward, University of Louisville Cardinals

Cousin, C.J. Wallace, was an All-Pac 10 Conference safety at the University of Washington and also played for the Seattle Seahawks.

CORY JOSEPH: Point Guard, University of Texas Longhorns

Older brother, Devoe Joseph, is a junior on the basketball team at the University of Minnesota.

MINDAUGAS KUZMINSKAS: Small Forward, B.C. Zalgris Kaunas (Lithuania)

Brother, Saulius, is a center/forward with Ventspils (Latvia) and another relative, Teisutis Kuzminskas, was a forward for Rudupis (Lithuania).

DALLAS LAUDERDALE: Power Forward/Center, The Ohio State University Buckeyes

Nephew of Jim Chones, who played for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers…Cousin of former WNBA player Kaayla Chones.

MALCOLM LEE: Shooting Guard/Point Guard, UCLA Bruins

Older sister, Shandrika Lee-Gerch, played college basketball at Pepperdine and is in her first year as an assistant women's basketball coach at Army.

CAMERON SCOTT LONG: Shooting Guard, George Mason University Patriots

Older brother, Rendell, played football at Florida State from 1992-1993.

DEMETRI McCAMEY: Point Guard/Shooting Guard, University of Illinois Fighting Illini

Younger brother, DeAndre, is a freshman on the basketball team at Kaskaskia College (Centralia, Ill.).

GARY JEROME McGHEE, Jr.: Center/Power Forward, University of Pittsburgh Panthers

Father, Gary McGhee, Sr., competed in track and field at Indiana University (1981-82)... Sister, Mariah (17), competes in track and field at Highland Senior High School…Cousin, Aaron McGhee, started at power forward and helped lead Oklahoma to the NCAA Final Four in 2002.

MARCUS and MARKIEF MORRIS: Power Forwards, University of Kansas

They are twin brothers who have also been teammates ever since they began playing organized basketball.

CHANDLER PARSONS: Small Forward/Shooting Guard, University of Florida Gators

Chandler comes from a strong athletic lineage, as his grandfather, Don Parsons, played college basketball at Rutgers and was drafted by the New York Knicks…Chandler’s father, Gary Parsons, played basketball at Rollins College (1973-77) and then overseas…His brother, Chad, played baseball at Morehead State.

JOSHUA SELBY: Shooting Guard/Point Guard, University of Kansas Jayhawks

Selby’s brother, Dwayne Wheeler, is a sophomore at Pikeville College after he played the 2010-11 season at the University of Charleston.

GIORGI SHERMADINI: Center, Union Olimpija Ljubjana (Slovenia)

Older brother, Sosa, was a teammate and center with Maccabi Brinkford Tblisi (2005-present).

KYLE SINGLER: Small/Power Forward, Duke University Blue Devils

Father, Ed Singler, was a quarterback at Oregon State, and his mother, Kris, played basketball at Oregon State…Kurt’s brother, E.J., is a sophomore basketball player at Oregon…Uncle, Rick Brosterhous, played basketball at Oregon while another uncle, Greg Brosterhous, played football at Oregon…Uncle, B.G. Brosterhous, played basketball at Texas and his father’s brother, uncle Bill Singler, played football at Stanford…Cousin, Ericka Brosterhous, played basketball at Oregon State.

JAMIE O’BRIEN SKEEN: Power Forward, Virginia Commonwealth University Rams

Skeen’s parents, Eric and Jackie, met while attending Fayetteville State, where Eric was a football player and Jackie was a cheerleader.

GREG SMITH: Power Forward/Center, Fresno State University Bulldogs

Uncle, Steve Shelley, was a Fresno State wide receiver (1988-89) and signed with the San Diego Chargers in 1990.

NOLAN SMITH: Point Guard/Shooting Guard, Duke University Blue Devils

His father, the late Derek Smith, played basketball at Louisville and was a member of the 1980 NCAA Championship team that defeated UCLA. Derek also played nine years in the NBA and was an assistant coach in the NBA for two years.

MICHAEL STOCKTON: Point Guard, Westminster College Griffins

Father, John Stockton, was a perennial All-NBA selection and point guard for the Utah Jazz, earning his induction to the NBA Hall of Fame in 2009…Brother, Houston, was a teammate in basketball and football at Gonzaga Prep, and another brother, David, plays basketball for Gonzaga University.

JULYAN STONE: Point Guard/Shooting Guard, University of Texas-El Paso Miners

Brothers J.T. and Jason played college football at West Texas A&M and San Diego State, respectively.

ISAIAH THOMAS: Point Guard, University of Washington Huskies

Thomas was named after the former Indiana and NBA all-star guard Isiah Thomas when his father, James, lost a friendly wager on a Lakers vs. Pistons playoff game in 1989. The name was approved by his mother since she desired a biblical name.

HOWARD "Trey" THOMPKINS III: Power Forward, University of Georgia Bulldogs

Father, Howard Thompkins Jr., played collegiate at Wagner College and was drafted in 1981 by the NBA's Atlanta Hawks.

KLAY THOMPSON: Shooting Guard, Washington State University Cougars

His father, Mychal Thompson, was the top over-all pick of the 1978 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers and was the first foreign-born player (Bahamas) to be selected at that position. He was a fixture in the Portland lineup for eight years (though one season was missed due to injury), where he started at both power forward and center positions. Mychal was named to the 1979 All-Rookie team, and during the 1986 offseason, he was traded to San Antonio, but played only half a season with the Spurs, before he was traded again, this time to Los Angeles, where he was a member of three NBA championship teams. He is currently employed as the Lakers radio color commentator.

Mother, Julie, played volleyball at the University of San Francisco…His older brother, Mychel, played basketball at Pepperdine University…Younger brother, Trayce, was chosen in the second round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft by the Chicago White Sox and is currently playing in their minor league system.

TRISTAN THOMPSON: Power/Small Forward, University of Texas Longhorns

Cousin of current Virginia State University Trojan football standout Jemal Thompson.

NIKOLA VUCEVIC: Power Forward/Center, University of Southern California Trojans

Vucevic's father, Borislav, played professionally for 24 years and was a member of the Yugoslavian national team. He also coached professionally in Belgium…Nikola's mother played professional basketball in Bosnia.

BRADLEY WANAMAKER: Point Guard/Shooting Guard, University of Pittsburgh Panthers

Bradley’s twin brother, Brian, who played on his high school team and played at Central Connecticut State as a freshman, is now at Texas Wesleyan.

JORDAN WILLIAMS: Center, University of Maryland Terrapins

Uncle, Murray Williams, played at the University of Connecticut and held the Torrington High School career points record until Jordan broke it in 2009.

CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT: Small Forward/Power Forward, University of Dayton Flyers

Wright is the second member of his family to play at Dayton. His uncle on his mother’s side, J.D. Grigsby, played at Dayton (1971-1973) and once had a “20-20” game for the Red and Blue. He scored 21 points and grabbed 21 rebounds vs. Notre Dame at the end of the 1971-72 season.


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