There was a time when athletic families followed similar routes and footsteps to go pro in the same sports. That's not the case anymore. The No.1 overall pick in the NHL Draft on Monday may be Seth Jones, the son of Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Popeye Jones. Trey Griffey isn't following his father and grandfather's path to the majors. Instead, he's a redshirt receiver at Arizona. Trevor Gretzky, son of the NHL's "Great One" is toiling in the Chicago Cubs minor league system, after playing football at one of the best high school football programs in the country.
Donovan McNabb's nephew took an even more unusual route. Darnell Nurse had an NFL quarterback's brain to pick and decided to venture into the world of youth hockey. Despite sticking out like a sore thumb on a hockey roster, Nurse glides on the ice as naturally as McNabb glided on grass and turf. At this summer's NHL Draft, he may experience the payoff.
Via Yahoo Sports:
As noted by the Cherry Hill Courier Post, McNabb’s nephew, Darnell Nurse, has emerged as one of the top NHL draft prospects while starring for the Sault Saint Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, the famed Canadian junior circuit. Nurse plays as a steady skating defenseman with a particular penchant for delivering offensive results to complement tough defense. The 18-year-old has scored 12 goals and 29 assists in 68 OHL games in a final tuneup before the NHL.
While Nurse’s natural physical development has been a key catalyst to his rising star, so has his famous uncle, whom the teen credited with having a profound impact on his ability to cope with a competitive athletic schedule.
“No matter what the question is or no matter what I’m going through, he’s always been available,” Nurse told the Courier-Post. “If I can’t get a hold of him at 10 o’clock in the morning, he’ll call me back at 10:30. It’s a relationship where we’re always in touch and we always know what’s going on in each other’s lives. He’s been someone that I’ve been real lucky to have.”
Nurse has spent summers training with his uncle since he was just entering his teenage years, now that McNabb’s professional football career has come to a close, the former Pro Bowler has taken an even more active role in mentoring Nurse.