Pistons Pick Jaden Ivey Shouts-out Lions’ Grandfather After Draft


    Jaden Ivey after being drafted by the Pistons in 2022.

    Some things in life are just meant to be, and Jaden Ivey being drafted to the Detroit Pistons seems like one of them considering his history within his new city.

    Not only did Ivey’s mom Niele play for the Detroit Shock in 2005 and his father Javin Hunter play wideout for Notre Dame, his grandparents were from the city and his grandfather was a former member of the Detroit Lions in cornerback James Hunter, who played with the team from 1976-1982.

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    Hunter was the trailblazer in the family who showed the way in pro sports, and it was a trait which Ivey, a talented guard, would get passed down to him generationally as well. Following Ivey’s selection to Detroit with the fifth-overall pick in the draft, the Lions made sure to mention the tie to the family for Ivey:

    “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 1976
    NFL draft. Hunter spent his entire 7-year career with the Lions & ranks 7th in team history with 27 INTs,” Lions PR tweeted.

    The connection was uncanny, and certainly amazing to note. The Lions have had plenty of interesting connections through the years, and this is the latest one following Brad Holmes having a similar story. Holmes’ uncle Luther Bradley played with the team from 1977-1981, and was a teammate of Hunter.

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    To say things came full-circle in this case is a pretty big understatement.

    Ivey Sends Special Message to Grandpa Following Draft

    Right after the draft, Ivey hopped on Twitter to not only share his excitement with coming to Detroit, but also, gave a nod to his family as well. As he said, he knows his grandfather is happy with him making it in the draft, possibly even in the city he starred in as well.

    “Grandpa I did it man, Ik you upstairs smiling rn, this for you #RIPGRANDPA,” Ivey tweeted.

    Obviously, it’s special for Ivey to come back to Detroit given all his family ties, and it’s something he is very aware of as he makes his start in the NBA.

    Hunter’s Career Stats & Highlights

    As a player, Hunter himself was no slouch on the field. Statistically, he was solid, piling up 279 tackles, 27 interceptions, 5 fumble recoveries and 4 sacks. Hunter also played in 86 games with 77 starts, showing he was the kind of player that could be depended on for the big play. As the Lions pointed out, Hunter’s 27 interceptions ranks seventh in team history at this point in time, showcasing what a playmaker he was on the field for the team. Collegiately, he attended Grambling. Hunter passed at the age of 56 in 2010.

    Here’s Hunter getting enshrined into the Black College Football Hall of Fame from 2020:

    James “Hound Dog” Hunter – 2020 Enshrinement VideoEnshrinement Video for Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee James “Hound Dog” Hunter2020-05-07T19:43:24Z
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    Hunter was a playmaker and athletic in his time on the field, and he managed to do some big things in the NFL. If his grandson is half as good in the NBA, the Motor City could be in for a major treat.

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