Indy Star- The Indiana Pacers second round draft pick, Joe Young, may be joining his cousin on the team.
Cousin Paul George, that is.
The two players' family connection dates back to twin sisters who were slaves in Opelousas, La., in the 1800s, according to research by another distant cousin.
George's paternal fourth great-grandmother, Merice Donato, is the twin sister of Young's maternal fourth great-grandmother Olympe Donato, according to the research.
That would make George and Young fifth cousins.
"It's just crazy," Young, who played for Oregon, said Tuesday. "It's all the way back."
Young found out about the relationship Friday, one day after he was drafted by the Pacers. Relatives began calling his mother asking if she realized her son would be playing with his cousin.
At first, Young and his mother were wary, but he says he received the "official paperwork" confirming the two are fifth cousins Monday.
That paperwork came from Alex Da'Paul Lee, of Beaumont, Tex., who says he is a distant cousin to both Young and George and who specializes in genealogy.
Lee was talking to Young's mother on the phone when she mentioned that he had been drafted by the Pacers.
"I said, 'Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that he signed to the Pacers?'" Lee said he asked her. "You do realize? You do realize he'll be playing with his cousin?"
I guess that's a fun little story to share with the family, but I think there is a more pressing issue at play here. Who the fuck realized that Paul George and Joseph Young were 5th cousins? I consider myself a pretty family oriented person. If you asked me to start retracing my family tree the furthest I am making it without a mistake is first cousin. I may be close with a second cousin or two. Hell, I may even have met a third cousin before , but I'll be damned if I can tell you their connection to me. Hell, you'd be lucky if I get what side of the family they are from right. What prompted someone to go digging through the history books and pull this little nugget of information out? Part of me thinks Young's family was unsure about his future in the NBA and started searching the archives for someone that could help him further his career. It's just complete happenstance that while doing so Young happened to get drafted to his 5th cousin's team.
What is it, 6 degrees of separation? When does someone from being a distant relative to a complete fucking stranger? How many lines of cousins do we have to trace back to before every African American player in the NBA is related. Hell, I may be 8th cousins with Paul George. If I go back far enough through my genealogy there is probably a plantation owner somewhere along the line. That doesn't mean I am visiting his gravesite anytime soon. If we are being totally honest I have probably accidentally slept with a 6th cousin before. I would really like to believe that doesn't make me incestuous. Joseph Young trying to relate to Paul George through their similar ancestry is like Joseph Young trying to relate to Paul George though their similar television interests, it's purely coincidental. They are family by label only. I am pretty sure the whole concept of a 'blood relative' goes out the window after first or second cousin. Still, it's definitely an interesting storyline. I guess I am just wondering who had the knowledge to trace back to the 1800's. Shit, my family ties get a little foggy right around the turn of the 21st century, but I guess that's just me.