Each year during March Madness, the media takes note of the teacher-student background of coaches in the tournament. Some are based solely on the mentor relationship, such as Harvard coach Tommy Amaker, who played at Duke under Coach K., or New Mexico coach Steve Alford, who played for legendary coach Bobby Knight at Indiana. Others were raised in the coaching environment, such as Georgetown’s John Thompson III, whose Father coached some of the greatest college teams and players of all time during his coaching tenure at Georgetown and Bryce Drew, who played for his dad, Homer, while making a historic tournament play in 1998 against Ole Miss and now coaches at tournament qualifier Valparaiso.
But this year, after taking in day one of March Madness, it is filled with examples of how the combination of genetics and home environment lead to an extraordinary number of NCAA tournament contributors. Here are some examples:
Arizona Wildcat Nick Johnson- his father, Jumpin Joey Johnson, was in the Guinness Book Of Records for dunking on an 11’7″ hoop. Nick is also the nephew of NBA hall of fame Dennis Johnson, who dominated the NBA during his 14 year career.
Duke Blue Devil Seth Curry- brother of NBA star Stephon Curry and son of Dell Curry, considered by many to have been one of the great 3 point shooters during his 16 year NBA career.
Gonzaga Bulldog David Stockton- son of hall of famer and all time NBA assist leader John Stockton.
UCLA Bruin Larry Drew II- his father, Larry Sr., played in the NBA for 10 seasons and went on to coach the Atlanta Hawks.
Michigan Wolverine Tim Hardaway Jr- son of Tim Sr, a 5 time NBA All Star over his 14 year career.
Michigan Wolverine Glen Robinson III- his dad was nicknamed “Big Dog” because of his hustling style. He averaged over 20 points a game during his 11 NBA seasons
Southern University Jaguar Madut Bol- he is the son of the late Manute Bol, who at 7’7″ was one of the tallest players ever to play in the NBA
Miami Hurricane Shane Larkin- dad Barry Larkin was a 12 time MLB All Star and was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
So this year, don’t just recognize those who mentored the careers of others. Let’ s also take note of the multiple-generational examples of excellence. Can’t wait to see who comes next.