Last modified: 2021-09-29
Irving was born in Melbourne, Australia, on March 23, 1992; the son of Drederick and Elizabeth Irving, American expats, and the stepson of Shetellia Irving. He has an older sister, Asia, and a younger sister, London. His father, Drederick, played college basketball at Boston University alongside Shawn Teague (father of Jeff and Marquis Teague) and under coach Rick Pitino. After completing his college career, Irving's father moved to Australia to play professionally for the Bulleen Boomers in the SEABL. Irving lived in the Melbourne suburb of Kew before relocating to the United States when he was two years old. He holds dual American and Australian citizenship. His mother, who was half African American and half Sioux, died of an illness when he was four, and Drederick raised him along with the help of Irving's aunts. He is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and was given his Lakota name, Ȟéla (Little Mountain), in 2018 to honor both his heritage and to recognize the donations he made to the tribe during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Since then, he has continued to honor his Lakota heritage through donations to the tribe, designing Nike shoes dedicated to his tribe as well as burning sage before every game.
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