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Kyrie Irving honors his late mom, Elizabeth, with new charity sneakers

In the latest edition of his charity sneakers, Kyrie Irving is honoring his mother, Elizabeth, who died when he was 4 and she was only 29. Irving debuted the sneakers Wednesday in the Nets-Bulls game, the latest in his “I love you Mom” series.

As Nick DePaula of The Undefeated writes...

Part of a collaboration with Jersey City, New Jersey-based boutique Sneaker Room and owner Suraj Kaufman, the annual tribute shoes honor Irving’s mother and Kaufman’s mother, Ellen. Each year, 100% of the proceeds from the sneaker launch go to community programs and organizations in New Jersey as a joint tribute to their late mothers.

Elizabeth Ann Irving, born Cynthia Janette White Mountain, was both a women’s volleyball player and a classically trained pianist as well as someone with strong beliefs. She was a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation who Irving has helped over the course of his career, sending them millions of dollars in PPE to battle COVID as well as food aid during the early months of the pandemic. Irving named his daughter Azurie Elizabeth Irving in honor of his mother.

“We had gone with the aspect of gold, love and white, and those natural colors when you think of loving your mother and flowers,” Kaufman told DePaula. “This year, we wanted to take it to another level. Kyrie, being part Native American and doing so much with Standing Rock, the tribe that his mom belonged to, we were talking about mothers and how we come to be: Mother Nature. Mother Earth.”

Over the years, sales of the sneakers have generated more than $500,000 in donations for the Jersey City Medical Center, local Boys & Girls Clubs and several other organizations, according to DePaula. This year’s launch will also benefit the Standing Rock Sioux Nation.

In his post-game comments after the Bulls game, Irving spoke of his relationship with his father, Drederick, and how after his mother died, basketball was their bond.

“As two people that are bonded, beyond just father and son. Growing up without my mom, b-ball was something that connected us and rooted us. But as I’ve gotten older, he just knows that the human being who I am is far more important....”

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant is out there trying to help Irving launch his new apparel line.