Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving says he is extremely grateful to have experienced both New York and New Jersey on and off the court growing up.
(via Brooklyn Nets):
“When I say I’ve grown up in New York and New Jersey, specifically in the Bronx and Harlem, New York, my roots come from there. Then I moved to Jersey when I was about 8 or 9, or 7, 8, and I became a Jersey kid to the New York culture that I grew up in, or the community, my family. I became the ‘Jersey kid’, there’s a ‘Jersey kid’ coming over to the Gauchos Gym or coming to play against Riverside Church. So I could go on and on about the stories, but I’m just grateful for all the friends and family I made along the way and the AAU journey, it used to be so, so competitive. I don’t think it’s as competitive now just because of the highlight culture, but the respect that you had to earn going from Brooklyn to Staten Island to Long Island to New Jersey or to Connecticut or to Delaware, you wanted to conquer all these States and you wanted to be #1.
“So for me, it was a goal of mine where I wanted to represent the East Coast, and then be one of the best in the world. So I got to accomplish those goals, but I got my hard-nosed toughness from growing up in those streets in the Bronx, and my dad having me play anybody and everybody, no matter the age. It helped my game mature a lot quicker than my age group because I was going against older guys. So the New York, New Jersey area produces a lot of great artists, and I’m just one of them, and I’m just making sure I’m paying homage to them by leading this game the right way.”