Kyrie Irving's late mother was adopted out of the tribe as a child, but Irving has always remained connected to his heritage.

By Emily Caron
August 23, 2018

Celtics guard Kyrie Irving was honored Thursday in a "homecoming ceremony" by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, the tribe from which his late mother, Elizabeth Ann Larson, was adopted out of as a child.

The homecoming celebration included a naming cermony, among other events, where Irving was given the Lakota name "Little Mountain."

His sister, Asia, was given the name "Buffalo Woman," Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post reports.  

Irving's family connection was to the tribe's White Mountain family in the Bear Soldier District on the South Dakota side of the reservation, the tribe said in a statementKyrie's late grandmother, Meredith Marie Mountain, was a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, along with both of his great-grandparents. 

"Kyrie has long known about his heritage and connection to the Standing Sioux Tribe and was an active supporter of the NoDAPL [Dakota Access Pipeline protests] movement," the tribe wrote. "Kyrie recently released a Nike N7 shoe, that he designed, to honor the water, the Standing Sioux Tribe, and his late mother." 

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The shoes feature the tribe's seal on the heel and insole. Irving also has a tattoo of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal logo on the back of his neck. 

"Kyrie is very proud to be Lakota and to be from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe," the tribe said.

Irving is heading into his second season with the Boston Celtics after a season-ending knee surgery in April. The 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year spent his first six seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who drafted Irving with the first overall pick in 2011. 

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