Trio of Wolverines have fathers who played in NBA
Dumars, Hardaway and Horford.
It sounds like the start of a solid NBA team around 1990, but
this trio of big names isn’t in the pros yet. Instead, Jordan
Dumars, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jon Horford are teammates at
”Their families are basketball families,” coach John Beilein
said. ”They understand the ebb and flow of being a player, and the
only understanding I get is they really want us to work hard at
developing their sons both on and off the court.”
The last names on the Michigan roster are familiar for anyone
who follows the NBA closely. Joe Dumars and Tim Hardaway each
scored more than 15,000 points in the league, and Tito Horford
played briefly for Milwaukee and Washington. Now, their sons are
pursuing their own careers, coincidentally at the same school.
”I want them to just be who they are,” Beilein said. ”You’ll
never hear me say, ‘Why can’t you be like your father?”’
Jordan Dumars is the oldest of the three Wolverines – and at
least locally, he has the most famous dad. When Jordan was born,
the elder Dumars had just finished winning back-to-back
championships with the Detroit Pistons. Joe Dumars is now the
Jordan actually began last season at South Florida before
transferring after the first semester.
Hardaway and Horford are both freshmen.
Tim Hardaway Sr. was a standout with the Golden State Warriors
and Miami Heat, and Jordan Dumars has seen NBA highlights of
Hardaway taking on his father.
”(Joe) would show me old tapes,” Jordan Dumars said. ”I think
they might have still been wearing the short shorts at that point,
and they were playing against Tim when he was in Golden State. I
think it was the game where my dad might’ve had 40-something and
Tim had 40-something.”
Dumars and Hardaway spent time together with the U.S. national
team, and their paths crossed again recently. They now have
something else in common.
”When we went down to play Miami during the preseason I ran
into Tim,” Joe Dumars said. ”We laughed and talked about our sons
Jon Horford actually has more than one NBA connection. His
brother Al Horford plays for the Atlanta Hawks. Al played college
basketball at Florida and won back-to-back national titles with the
Gators, but Jon, who was born in Lansing, stayed close to home.
”That makes it a lot easier for me to go to the games,” Tito
Horford said. ”It was tougher when Al was in college.”
Hardaway Jr. came all the way from Miami to play for the
Wolverines, and he was oblivious to the fact that two of his future
teammates also had NBA fathers.
”I didn’t even know that Dumars was on the team when I got
here,” he said. ”And then we got Horford – I didn’t know his
father played in the NBA, either. All I knew is his brother played
in the NBA. So I’m like, ‘Wow, we’ve got a lot of NBA guys on here
– sons and relatives and stuff like that.’ Then, on top of that,
we’ve got Glenn Robinson’s son coming.”
Hardaway Jr. even left out one other teammate with close NBA
ties: Michigan guard Josh Bartelstein’s father Mark is an agent who
has represented players in the league.
The question now is whether these Wolverines can leave their own
legacies on the court. There’s undoubtedly some pressure that comes
with having such recognizable last names. Joe Dumars, who is
revered around Michigan for his accomplishments with the Pistons,
now has a son nearby that he can cheer on – but he’s careful not to
intrude on Jordan’s independence.
”I’ve always tried to balance that,” Joe Dumars said. ”To
absolutely 100 percent support him, but to never overstep my
Jon Horford may have been speaking for the group when he
explained the challenge of living up to such an impressive
pedigree. Sure, a lot will be expected of him, but with a father
and brother who have accomplished so much, he doesn’t have to look
far for a mentor.
”I’m younger,” Horford said. ”I’ve got to learn from them –
learn from what they did well, learn from where they messed up and
just try to make the best future I can.”