Here’s something that’s become a sort of unappreciated tradition with Duke Basketball: players from tight-knit families.
You don’t have to look too far: Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, Jason Williams, JJ Redick, Chris Duhon, RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, Mark Williams, Dereck Lively.
That’s not everyone, but those guys all come from strong families. At one point, Mike Krzyzewski said that he preferred to get players from strong families (not everyone thought this was great, not least of all Jalen Rose, who has said more than once that this annoyed him about Duke).
You can add Jayson Tatum to that list.
His parents didn’t stay together, but he has always been close to both of them and particularly his mother, Brandy Cole, who seems as strong as Janice Hill: Cole got pregnant at 19 and earned four degrees, including a law degree and an MBA. She’s very impressive in her own right.
She talks here a bit about her relationship with Jayson, how Draft Night affected her, Jayson’s relationship with his son Deuce, and what her son is like away from the court. This is a proud mom talking obviously but for Duke and Boston fans, it’s pretty interesting.