A Few Words About DNA

I was able to watch some of the North Carolina – Kentucky game on Saturday. At one point, Clark Kellogg was singing the praises of Larry Drew II, a guard on Carolina. Kellogg said that Drew II has “tremendous DNA.” He’s right; Drew’s father, Larry Drew, was an NBA player.

There is nothing controversial about this. Drew II is a good college player, and Kellogg was saying that he has lots of upside because it is in his genes. When a kid is good at the guitar, it doesn’t surprise people to learn that one of his parents was a musician. When a kid is smart, it doesn’t surprise people to learn that one or both of her parents was also smart. So, when a kid is good at hoops, it isn’t surprising to learn that his father played in the NBA.

It begs an interesting question, though: Why doesn’t this happen more often? The last time I remember the kids of pro basketball players playing for a good college team was when Doc Rivers’s son played with Patrick Ewing’s son for Georgetown a few years ago. That was an excellent team, but not necessarily because of Rivers and Ewing — the team was led by two guys whose surnames were Hibbert and Green.

On the pro level, there are a few guys who have a parent that was a professional athlete. Grant Hill’s dad played football for the Cowboys. Kobe Bryant’s dad played pro ball, overseas for a number of years. Joakim Noah’s dad played professional tennis. I’m sure there are a few other guys in the league who have a pro athlete for a parent, but I’m having trouble thinking of them.

In other sports, the list is longer, but it’s still not very long. The Manning brothers have a father who was an NFL QB. Ken Griffey, Jr. and Barry Bonds have fathers who played Major League Baseball. Again, I’m sure there are others, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

I, for one, have no idea why that is.

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