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On Mothers’ Day, an oft-told tale is now more destiny than tragedy

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It was destiny, no doubt, that Randy Foye wound up in Brooklyn and ended the biggest mystery in his life, the disappearance and loss of his mother. We have written about it before, how Foye’s mother got into a van one day when Foye was a child and never returned and how 27 years later, after the veteran joined the Nets, her body was found, buried as a Jane Doe in Brooklyn.

Now, on Mothers’ Day, Ohm Youngmisuk adds to the story and the role destiny played in it, bringing mother and son together. As the ESPN reporter writes it began in the summer.

Despite the fact that the Nets were expected to be the worst team in the NBA, Foye felt an inexplicable pull that led him to sign with Brooklyn after finishing the 2015-16 season with Oklahoma City.

There was no indication, no suspicion that Regina Foye had died in the borough. She was last seen in Newark, where he was born and grew up, where his grandparents raised him after mother disappeared. His father had already died in a motorcycle accident. He became an all-State at Newark East Side, All-American at Villanova, a lottery pick in the draft, a millionaire playing in the NBA.

But after all the stops in his career, there was something about Brooklyn. It began when Dr. Jason Graham of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the City of New York, read a story about how Foye was looking for his mother. Youngmisuk writes, it was fate.

"He wasn't [even] into sports like that," Foye noted. But Dr. Graham read the story and it jogged his memory. In their first phone call, he told Foye about a Jane Doe case in Brooklyn from 1990 that had never been solved. Foye’s description of it to a sports writer made him think it was possible that the Jane Doe was Regina Foye.

"I think he knew from the beginning that it was her because [they had] her finger prints from being incarcerated before [belonging to] Regina Diane Foye," Foye told Youngmisuk. "[But] he said there are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Jane and John Does, just in Brooklyn alone.”

Foye agreed to take a DNA test and had his two daughters and an aunt do the same. There was a match and on a day when Foye called Kenny Atkinson he wasn’t coming in, the call came. They had identified her, found her burial plot. The mystery was solved because Randy Foye had chosen to join the Nets. Fate had intervened.

He learned that indeed his mother had died of a drug overdose and confirmed that she was a drug dealer. She was his mother, and after cremation, her ashes sit in his home.

"She was buried by herself and no one was there,” he said. “Her spirit was protected, but she was buried where no one knew where she was at, and now she is home, and now my kids can come home and talk to their grandmother if they want to."

Happy Mothers’ Day, Randy Foye.