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San Antonio Spurs big man Jeff Pendergraph is now Jeff Ayres, taking his father’s name

The heart previously generally known as Jeff Pendergraph readies a free throw (Nathaniel S. Butler/ Getty).

The phrase “making a reputation for himself” became a cliche long ago, nevertheless it’s however straightforward to miss just how a lot an NBA athlete depends on his name for recognition and profession-constructing. Although elevated media coverage means that many fans might even see a player in highlights before they study who he’s, a name nonetheless carries numerous associations. When somebody says “Michael Jordan,” it brings to mind a number of moments, accolades, and opinions. This point isn’t significantly novel, after all — we all know what names are — nevertheless it helps talk the presumed permanence of a name. We keep in mind it as shorthand for everything contained within a single particular person. People don’t switch them up until they have very good causes.

For an individual with a selected set of life circumstances, a name is not only a public thing, however a mark of exactly how that person views his family’s current and future. For his total public life, journeyman heart Jeff Pendergraph, who signed a two-12 months contract with the San Antonio Spurs, has used the surname of a person who hasn’t been a significant a part of his life since he was a teen. When his daughter was born this summer time, the one-time Pendergraph decided it was time for a new title. From Jeff McDonald for the San Antonio Express-Information:

Last month, Pendergraph walked into a courthouse in downtown Phoenix, his wife Raneem and newborn daughter Naomi in tow. He walked out with a new title — Jeff Ayres.

Ayres is family identify of his organic father, James. It replaces the surname of a stepfather who hasn’t been within the image because the player previously identified Jeff Pendergraph was in high school. […]

“I did not know who my dad was until I was a senior in high school,” Jeff Ayres stated Wednesday, throughout a break from pickup video games as the Spurs’ apply fitness center. He was born Jeff Orcutt, using his mother LaDona’s maiden identify, and became Pendergraph in elementary school when she married. […]

“In highschool and recruiting, that’s how all people knew me, as Pendergraph,” Ayres mentioned. “I did not want to change it, as a result of then individuals wouldn’t know who I was. It caught.” […]

Ayres noticed no need for Naomi to carry a name he felt no connection to himself. He didn’t need her to develop up with questions about the Pendergraphs. Not wanting to modify back to Orcutt, the quickly-to-be-former Jeff Pendergraph and his spouse contemplated ranging from scratch with a completely new moniker. They joked about legally dubbing themselves “Mr. and Mrs. Superior.”

McDonald adds that the 2 Ayres males are still engaged on building a extra substantive relationship, however this determination still stands as the act of a brand new father trying to reconcile his past with his complete household’s future. It’s a touching story partly as a result of it isn’t but finished — the title change is not the conclusion, however something closer to a development of what’s going to doubtless be a lifelong process for Ayres, his spouse, and his daughter.

As famous by Ben Golliver at The Level Ahead, the swap will be most apparent for fans when they learn the lettering on the again of Ayres’s jersey, which is able to go from an 11-letter, closely arched curiosity to a shorter, more manageable five characters. There’s additionally the matter of getting used to calling him Jeff Ayres, naturally, however that doesn’t appear so daunting. I feel he can vault ahead of this Louisville therapy heart and this political science professor in web search results.

BDL will do its half to help fans during this transition. We want the Ayres household the best, as effectively.