Joe Young's joining the Indiana Pacers doesn't only represent a dream come true; it is also a family reunion.
Young, the former Oregon Ducks guard whom the Pacers selected in the second round of last week's NBA draft, recently discovered he is a distant cousin of Indiana star Paul George.
Young's maternal fourth great-grandmother was Olympe Donato, whose twin sister was Merice Donato. Merice is George's paternal fourth great-grandmother. Olympe and Merice were slaves in Opelousas, La., in the 1800s.
"It's just crazy," Young said of the connection. "It's all the way back."
The link was discovered by Alex Da'Paul Lee, another distant cousin of both Young and George. Lee specializes in genealogy -- his Twitter handle is @AlexGenealogy -- and after the Pacers picked Young, Lee called Young's mom to inform her of the connection.
According to sources, Paul George and I are related. Truly blessed to be in the Pacers' Family. pic.twitter.com/8EKf7NfZGV
— Joe Young (@JoeyBuckets3) June 29, 2015
Merice Donato, George's ancestor, died at a young age, Lee said. So Young's ancestor, Olympe, raised Merice's kids.
"To see descendants of each twin reconnected on the same NBA team 167 years later is amazing," Lee told the Indianapolis Star.
Via Lee's Facebook page, here's the story of the Donato twins:
The connection isn't the only part of Young's background that interests Pacers fans. Young's father, Michael, played collegiately at Houston and was a member of the Phi Slama Jama teams of the 1980s.