Like many top basketball prospects, Jaden Ivey dreamt from a young age of playing in the NBA one day.
Nothing new there. Cookie-cutter stuff, really. His upbringing is where his story goes in a very different direction.
A good portion of his adolescence was spent around the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, in their locker room, on the team bus and plane, in practices and in the stands during games. His mother, Niele Ivey, was an assistant coach at Notre Dame from 2007-19, and then-head coach Muffet McGraw allowed Niele to bring Jaden with them everywhere.
“It has extremely shaped who Jaden is as a person and who Jaden is as a player,” Niele Ivey, now the Notre Dame head coach, told Sports+. “I think it’s pretty powerful and pretty amazing that he learned the game from women. He was inspired by women because that’s all he was around. All his role models were Notre Dame women basketball players.