The Detroit Pistons made Jaden Ivy the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, and he has Detroit Lions roots.
By all accounts the Detroit Pistons had a good NBA Draft night on Thursday night. They kicked it off by taking Purdue guard Jaden Ivey with the fifth overall pick, and the incoming rookie’s athletic roots roots immediately surfaced.
Ivey’s mom Niele is currently the women’s basketball coach at Notre Dame, but she played for the WNBA’s Detroit Shock during the 2005 season. Ivey’s father, Javin Hunter, played briefly in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens in 2002.
But the Pistons rookie guard also has Detroit Lions roots.
Ivey’s grandfather, James Hunter, spent his entire seven-year career (1976-1982) as an NFL defensive back with the Lions. His 27 interceptions are seventh in franchise history, a noted by Lions’ PR.
"The Detroit Pistons selected Jaden Ivey with the 5th pick of the 2022 NBA draft. His grandfather, James Hunter, was selected by the Lions with the 10th pick of the 1976NFL draft. Hunter spent his entire 7-year career with the Lions & ranks 7th in team history with 27 INTs,”"
Hunter had six or more interceptions three times in a season (1976, 1977, 1980). Over 86 career games (77 starts), he also had five fumble recoveries and four sacks. The Lions drafted him 10th overall out of Grambling State in the 1976 draft.
In another Lions’ connection, general manager Brad Holmes’ uncle Luther Bradley played for the Lions from 1977-1981. So Bradley was of course a teammate of Hunter’s.
Detroit Lions: Jaden Ivey gives shoutout to James Hunter after being drafted
Hunter passed away in 2010 at the age of 56. On Friday morning, Ivey took to Twitter to send a message to his grandfather.
James Hunter wore No. 28 for the Lions. It’s worth wondering if Ivey will want to wear that number to honor his grandfather, but center Isaiah Stewart currently wears it for the Pistons.