Fall 2022

Purdue star Jaden Ivey declares for NBA draft, thanks God for 'blessing me with the ability'

Purdue’s star sophomore and consensus second-team All-American Jaden Ivey has made his decision: He’s going pro.

Nearly a week after the Boilermakers’ 67-64 upset loss to Saint Peter’s in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16, Ivey announced on social media Thursday that he will forego the remainder of his college eligibility and enter his name in the 2022 NBA Draft.

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“First and foremost, I would like to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play the game of basketball,” Ivey’s Twitter post began. “He has given me the passion, confidence and drive to pursue this dream of mine.”

Ivey then went on to thank his family, teammates, coaches and fans before concluding, “This has been a lifelong dream of mine and I am beyond excited for this journey. GOD’S PLAN.”

Ivey was Purdue’s unquestioned leader throughout the 2021-22 season, as he propelled the Boilermakers to a 29-8 record and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He averaged a team-leading 17.3 points and 3.1 assists per game, as well as 4.9 rebounds.

The 6-foot-4 shooting guard is expected to be highly valued in this year’s NBA draft. ESPN’s latest mock draft projects that Ivey will be selected fourth overall by the Detroit Pistons. Yet, despite his emerging stardom, Ivey — who has “#CallGod” in his Twitter and Instagram bios — is grounded by his faith in God.

“I know Christ is the fountain that filled my cup,” he posted on Instagram in January.

 

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Faith is a bond Ivey shares with his mother, Niele. They also share the bond of basketball. Niele is in her second year as the women’s basketball head coach at her alma mater, Notre Dame, and this past month they both competed in the NCAA Tournament. The unique story captured the attention of many basketball fans as mother and son watched each other from afar.

“[My mom and I are] just super blessed to just be in this position,” Jaden said before Purdue’s first-round victory against Yale. “I just think it’s what God’s done for us to put us in this position. You know, both of us are in March Madness right now. We’re doing what we love to do. It’s just a blessing.”

And although the Boilermakers fell to Saint Peter’s and the Fighting Irish fell to NC State in the Sweet 16, mother and son both know that all good things come from God.

With all the highs and lows in coaching, I trust and believe that God has something amazing in store for me, my family, and my team! I will continue to work hard, continue to believe in something bigger and continue to have faith in my journey,” Niele shared last month on Instagram as her team neared a tournament berth. “I feel such gratitude for God’s favor and for my team’s commitment to our goals. I’m so thankful that I get the opportunity to lead and mentor them!”

Now with the prospect of a pro basketball career on the horizon, Jaden will seek to continue to glorify God on the biggest stage in the sport while Niele will continue to cheer him on. This year’s draft is set for June 23.

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