Love & Basketball: The Fighting Iveys

By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter

155 miles is really not that far. It’s the distance from Bridgeport to Philadelphia and it is a pretty straight shot down I-95. That is the very route that Niele Ivey will be traveling as the second-year head coach makes the trek from Bridgeport to lead Notre Dame into the Women’s Sweet 16.

And her only son, Jaden played for Purdue in a stunning Sweet 16 loss against upstart St. Peter’s.

A 2001 graduate of Notre Dame, Ivey was a 5th year senior in 2001 that helped lead the Irish to an NCAA Championship. She was then a second-round pick of the Indiana Fever and had a 5-year career in the WNBA.

She was an assistant coach at her alma mater under Muffet McGraw from 2007-15 and the associate head coach until 2019, when Notre Dame won its second National Championship. Ivey took over the reins from McGraw in 2020 and has compiled a record of 33-18.

Her son, Jaden is a 20-year-old shooting guard for Purdue, a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. He was a consensus second-team All-American and is expected to be a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

Coach Ivey’s team faces No. 1 seed NC State at a sold-out Webster Bank Arena Saturday. She put her team through a 90-minute practice Friday in advance of being driven to Philadelphia for the 7:09 tilt.

She probably won’t be back in her hotel room until about midnight, but notwithstanding Ivey and her crack staff will be well prepared to take on familiar ACC foe NC State Saturday night.

It will be quite a night for mother and son. It could not have been scripted any more perfectly.

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