Jaden and Niele Ivey have become the first mother-son duo to advance to college basketball’s coveted Sweet 16. Niele Ivey is the head coach of Notre Dame women’s team and her son Jaden is an All-American sophomore guard at Purdue.
Notre Dame advanced to the Sweet 16 in style. Niele’s Fighting Irish handed the Oklahoma Sooners their biggest tournament loss in program history, defeating them 108-64.
Less than 24 hours later, her son Jaden scored 18 points and guided Purdue to a 81-71 win over the Texas Longhorns.
“I was just so happy that he’s living out his dreams, I’m living out my dreams, and to watch him help his team get to the Sweet 16 was just so special for me,” said Niele.
“It was hard not being there, but he knows that I have a job to do, as well. I had a FaceTime with him earlier just before the game, so we’re there for each other in spirit. But yeah, it’s just a special bond.”
Jaden Ivey wasn’t bothered that his mom won’t be able to watch him in person, “You know, I don’t want to see her. I want to see her go far, so I don’t want to see her in the stands, and I know she doesn’t want to see me in the stands. I’m just so blessed to be here.”
Niele was the 19th pick in the second round of the 2001 WNBA draft and played her rookie season pregnant with Jaden. She became the first woman assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA. Niele made history in 2020 by becoming Notre Dame’s first Black woman head coach.
The Iveys and their respective teams will now turn their focus to advancing to the Elite Eight. Third-seeded Purdue play Saint Peter’s on Friday while Niele and the Fighting Irish play top seeds NC State on Saturday.
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