Guys like Glenn Robinson, Jr., Tim Hardaway Jr. and Seth and Steph Curry (sons of former NBA sharpshooter Del Curry) all watched their fathers’ growing up and, understandably, wanted to be basketball stars.
And a guy like Seth Jones grew up watching his dad, NBA journeyman Popeye Jones. And, understandably, wanted to be a … hockey player?
It’s not a stretch to say that Seth is better at hockey than his dad was at basketball, which is why he was drafted by the Nashville Predators with the No. 4 pick of Monday’s NHL draft.
Another brother also went high—Darnell Nurse was taken by the Edmonton Oilers with the seventh pick. Nurse is the son of former CFL wide receiver Richard Nurse, and the nephew of former NFL star Donovan McNabb.
We’re starting to see more black faces in the NHL (please don’t call them African-American, because not all of them are American), and both Jones and Nurse are expected to be stars.
Jones was considered to be the best skater and one of the top defensive players in the draft, and many considered him to be the best overall player . When the Colorado Avalanche got the top pick more than a few fans thought the fix was in so that Seth—who grew up in Colorado—could play for his hometown team.
Nurse, also a defensemen, grew up in Ontario and has played the last two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League. Speaking to reporters after the draft about his famous uncle, Nurse said:
“He went higher than me, but I didn’t get booed at my draft. So we’re even.”
While the NHL has long been considered a white league, the drafting of Jones and Nurse demonstrates the strides the league with a diversity program that has a presence in 38 cities in North America.
- Highlights of Seth Jones, the No. 4 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft
- Highlights of Darnell Nurse, the No. 7 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft