Jaden McDaniels has a sentimental side to him, almost overwhelmingly so.
On Wednesday night, the former University of Washington basketball player shared an NBA court with his older brother, Jalen, for the first time, a heartfelt family moment he'll never forget.
With a few days off because of the All-Star break, the 6-foot-9 McDaniels next returned to Seattle and showed up back on campus on Friday to visit with his Husky coaches and old teammates.
And to think UW fans felt he had little attachment to the Husky program during a somewhat disappointing season in Montlake.
The McDaniels brothers' basketball reunion took place in Minneapolis, when Jaden's Minnesota Timberwolves hosted and lost 135-102 to Jalen and the Charlotte Hornets.
Jaden played 30 minutes and scored 5 points and grabbed 7 rebounds while his big brother was on the floor for just 6 minutes, good for 2 points and a rebound.
The stats didn't matter compared to them able to share the NBA together if just for a night.
"I'm super excited just thinking back to when were were little, just playing outside in front of the yard and now we're on an NBA court together," Jaden McDaniels told the Minneapolis Star. "It's like, shoot, it's a dream come true. It's crazy to think about it. Words can't explain it."
At the break, Jaden is a rookie who's played in 30 of 36 games for Minnesota, starting once. He averages 5.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. In a dismal 7-29 season, he's been a bright spot, a keeper, a surprise as the 28th overall NBA draft pick, for a team that just fired its coach.
Jalen, who has alternated between the Hornets and the G-League in his two seasons in pro basketball since leaving San Diego State, has appeared in 17 games this season, also starting once. He averages 5.5 points and 2.8 boards an outing.
The brothers, who played together at Federal Way High School in Seattle's southern suburbs, don't hide the fact that they're close as siblings.
"We were kind of clowning each other, like who's going to be better, who's going to go against each other, who's going to guard each other," Jaden said. "I think what we're most excited for is at the end, just seeing each other, talking, because we don't really see each other as much now. Just seeing each other is the best part."
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