Basketball & Race, NCAA

What is Zach Edey’s Race and Ethnicity? Is the Purdue Big Man of Asian Descent?

The Purdue Boilermakers have been a dominant force this NCAA season. At 17-2, Purdue was ranked the #1 team for much of the season before losing a couple games. Even so if there’s  NCAAB picks for tonight and the Boilermakers are playing, it’s a safe bet.

Purdue’s success is literally and figuratively due to the towering presence of their center Zach Edey. Standing at 7-foot-4 and a 7-7 wingspan, Edey has been nothing short of sensational, characterized by dominant scoring, intimidating defense, and a natural ability to control the paint on both sides of the ball.

Edey hasn’t just led Purdue men’s basketball to numerous victories but has also significantly raised his profile as one of the most impactful players in college basketball this season. His remarkable journey to becoming the National Player of the Year, sweeping several of the NCAA’s big awards raises curiosity about his background and family life, particularly his cultural background.

What is Zach Edey’s Ethnicity?

Zach Edey was born in Toronto, Canada, to Julia and Glen Edey. His mother, Julia, is of Chinese descent, while his father, Glen, is white, making Zach of mixed ethnicity. This blend of cultures has contributed to Zach’s unique upbringing, perspective and character. Julia Edey is a retired mechanical engineer and has been a constant presence in Zach’s basketball journey. She is often seen at his games, showing support in unique ways, including distributing t-shirts with his nickname, “The Big Maple,” a nod to his Canadian roots and towering height.

Who are Zach’s Parents?

Zach’s parents have played a crucial role in his development as a player. His mother, with her background in basketball, and his father, a sports enthusiast, have both instilled a passion for the game in their son. Raised in Canada, Zach’s diverse cultural background and supportive family environment have been instrumental in shaping his career.

Today, Zach Edey’s parents are among his biggest supporters. Julia’s efforts to promote her son, from attending games to creatively engaging fans, underscore the strong family support that Zach enjoys. Looking forward, Zach continues to make strides in his basketball career, with eyes on the NBA draft where he is projected to be a promising pick.

The Mother-Son Bond: Mixed Heritage and Supportive Parents

Zach’s relationship with his mother is a testament to their close bond. In an interview with the Canadian Press, Zach spoke about the deal he made with his mother after securing a Division 1 scholarship. “She retired going into my freshman year of college. That was always kind of our deal,” Zach shared. His determination to achieve a scholarship was partly fueled by his desire to provide for his mother, showcasing his deep sense of responsibility and familial love.

Julia reflected on this moment, saying, “It meant a lot to him getting that scholarship knowing that he could help give me those options and it meant a lot to me. I was thinking, I’m not missing a second of this.”

Julia has become somewhat of a local celebrity often appearing on the Boilermaker’s Mackey Arena jumbotron at home games.

“I was sitting there and I was like, ‘Wow, everyone got really noisy. What’s happening?’ And I look up at the screen and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s me! Oh, my gosh.’” Julia explained to WISHTV. “I was actually kind of embarrassed, but then obviously it’s flattering. So, that first one was funny. It just kind of caught me off guard, and I thought, ‘Oh, boy, I’ll have to be braced. I don’t want to be caught doing anything embarrassing.’”

Edey’s Initial Reluctance to Basketball

Sometimes things happen for a reason. In an alternate universe, Edey may have never picked up a basketball, but like many other basketball players; an adult took notice of his height at an early age and helped to user them into hoops.

Zach initially shunned basketball, a decision stemming from his height. As he explained, it was an act of rebellion against the expectations placed on him because of his stature. However, his path changed when he was offered a chance to play basketball at IMG Academy in Florida. It was his mother who encouraged him to stick with basketball, advising him, “You can try and if it doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t happen.

Even though Edey is reportedly still growing, Zach Edey’s story is more than just about his size and basketball prowess. It’s a tale of mixed heritage, familial bonds, and a young athlete’s journey shaped by the love and support of his parents. As he progresses in his career, the values and roots instilled by his family will undoubtedly continue to influence his path.

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