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Tough love led Kyrie Irving to the NBA

irvingKyrie062411_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Kyrie Irving hugged his father Drederick, who raised him when his mother died, when he was announced as the number one pick in this year’s NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Elizabeth Irving died suddenly when Kyrie was four years old, leaving Drederick Irving to raise Kyrie and his older sister, Asia. The New York Daily News reported that Elizabeth died of Sepsis Syndrome and a multisystem organ failure at the age of 29.

Drederick, a 45-year-old bond analyst at Thomson Reuters, received a lot of help raising his family from his four sisters. Father and son played basketball together for years, and Drederick never went easy on Kyrie, often beating him badly, and frustrating his son with tough love.

"I'd make him shake my hand at the end, teach him sportsmanship," Drederick said, according to ESPN. "We had our wars, but he grew stronger and got taller."

Irving attended Montclair Kimberly Academy during his freshman and sophomore years, and St. Patrick’s in Elizabeth, N.J. for his junior and senior years. Kyrie said Drederick made his points without being too strict. And he remembered a lot. Not long after he got to St. Patrick’s, Irving saw his best friend senior Jeremiah Green blacked out and went down, and the next thing Green remembered was Kyrie Irving carrying him to the sideline.

 

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