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Jaden Ivey's emotions were everything at the NBA Draft

The Purdue star was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the fifth pick of the draft Thursday.

INDIANAPOLIS — Purdue basketball star Jaden Ivey wasn't hiding his emotions after he was selected with the fifth overall pick of the NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons. 

He may not have been able to hide them even if he tried. 

The tears were already flowing from the South Bend native's eyes when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver formally announced the Pistons' selection. Ivey stood up and wrapped his mother, Niele, in a long embrace before heading on stage. 

"This is everything, man. I worked day in and day out to just get to this level. I know I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her and I'm just... I'm just so happy. I'm just so happy," Ivey said in an interview with ESPN after the selection, his mom still by his side.

While Jaden let years of hard work flow through his emotions, his mother remained stoic, yet well aware of what the moment meant for her son and their family.

"I'm speechless almost. You know, this is his dream come true. To be in Detroit, we have so many amazing roots in Detroit. For him to be able to walk on that stage, I'm just so joyful. I'm so happy for him," she said.

“Dream come true, coming from my background with Detroit ties," Ivey told the Associated Press.

Jaden's father, Javin Hunter, was born in Detroit and starred as a wide receiver at Notre Dame. Niele, the current women's basketball coach at Notre Dame, played one season with the WNBA's Detroit Shock in 2005. Ivey's late grandfather, James Hunter, started 77 games at defensive back for the Detroit Lions from 1976 to 1982.

“When my agent told me I was going to the Pistons, I just broke down in tears," Ivey said. “Grandpa is up in heaven smiling right now."

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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