College Basketball

Ivey family thriving during March Madness

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The month of March is a special time for the University of Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Niele Ivey and her son, Purdue University men’s basketball standout, Jaden Ivey.

Jaden Ivey, the Boilermakers’ sophomore sensation, is in Milwaukee, awaiting Purdue’s second-round game Sunday night versus the Texas Longhorns.

“I’m definitely going to be tuned in,” Jaden Ivey said. “Very excited for her, her first March Madness. I know she’s pretty geeked up for it.”

His mother, Niele, is about 900 miles away in Norman, Oklahoma, where she coached Notre Dame to a win over UMass in the opening game of their NCAA Tournament bid.

Jaden Ivey led the Boilers with 22 points in their first win of March Madness, over Yale. Niele Ivey is in her sophomore year as the head coach of the Irish, where she turned a .500 finish last season into a No. 5 seed in the Big Dance.

“We’re just super blessed to just be in this position. I just think it’s just 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,” Jaden Ivey said.

However, because both mother and son have advanced to the second round of their respective brackets, Niele Ivey will not be in the stands on Sunday when her son takes the floor for one of the biggest games of his life.

Jaden Ivey admitted, “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 Ivey describes participating in March Madness at the same time as her son as “the opportunity that they’ve both dreamed about.”

“We know how our roads our paths have crossed over; we’ve had to sacrifice a lot for both of our careers,” Niele Ivey said. “But we were living our dreams, and both of our dreams were to go to the NCAA Tournament and, you know, hopefully be able to compete for a national championship. That’s the quest that he’s on. That’s the quest that I’m on. So, we’re both living out our purpose. And so we understand that this is part of it.”

The Fighting Irish’s biggest Boilermaker fan has successfully scheduled practice times around her son’s games.  Even from Oklahoma, Niele Ivey will watch with the rest of the world, as her All-American son continues an already historic season.

The third-seeded Purdue Boilermakers face off against the No. 6 Texas Longhorns on Sunday at 8:40 p.m.

The fifth-seeded University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on No. 4 Oklahoma at 6 p.m. Monday.