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The family connection between the Indiana Pacers and Gonzaga men’s basketball

The family connection between the Indiana Pacers and Gonzaga men’s basketball team

DETROIT (WISH) — The Purdue University men’s basketball team will face Gonzaga on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

The No. 1-seeded Boilermakers are coming off a 39-point win over Utah State, while the No. 5-seeded Bulldogs enter the matchup fresh off a 21-point win over Kansas.

In that victory over the Jayhawks, Gonzaga junior guard Ryan Nembhard scored 5 points and dished out 12 assists.

Indiana Pacers fans likely recognize that last name since Nembhard is the younger brother of Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard.

“We just talk the game,” Ryan Nembhard said. “We talk basketball. We talk plays. We talk certain situations that I’ve been in.”

The siblings have a close relationship. The Gonzaga guard said on Thursday that the duo played a lot of one-on-one in the driveway growing up. He joked that Andrew would likely say he won all of those games, but Ryan said he got a couple victories.

“He’s confident in what I can do and he’s just proud of me, and he wants me to be the best I can,” Nembhard said. “It’s all love and support at the end of the day.”

News 8 Sports’ Andrew Chernoff was in the Gonzaga locker room and asked Ryan Nembhard if there was one big thing his older brother taught him about the game of basketball.

“I don’t know if there’s one thing that’s the biggest thing he taught me,” Nembhard said. “I think just learning through him and watching him play and him just being my brother and getting to see what he does every day and as we grew up. It’s just been a lesson to me. And I’ve learned a lot from him.”

Nembhard is finding success at the collegiate level this year, averaging 12.6 points and 6.9 assists per game. He joined Gonzaga this offseason after playing at Creighton.

Meanwhile, his older brother is finding success in the NBA. Andrew is averaging 9.3 points and 4.1 assists per game for the Pacers this season.

“It’s a dream come true for him,” Nembhard said. “So, I’m super happy for him. Super proud of him. He’s been my role model since I was a kid. So, I’m just super happy for him. I know he’s living his dream and he’s having a great time doing it.”

Nembhard cheers for the Pacers, saying that the blue and gold are his favorite team.

Andrew Nembhard played college basketball at Gonzaga as well. He also spent time playing at Florida.