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

Michigan.

”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

team’s president.

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

playing together.”

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

boundaries.”

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.”