Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving has made it a point to acknowledge his Native American heritage in past interviews, most notably in 2016 with ESPN.
The Boston star first announced his mother, Elizabeth Larson, was a descendant of the Standing Rock Sioux, which sent elders of the tribe hurrying to identify a lineage. They found that Irving’s grandparents and great-grandparents were from the White Mountain family in the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota.
On Thursday, Irving took part in a naming ceremony, along with his sister, that had been in the works since April. He was given the Lakota name “Little Mountain,” and his sister, Asia, was given the name “Buffalo Woman.”
The naming ceremony is complete.
Kyrie Irving was given the name “Little Mountain.” His sister, Asia, was given the name, “Buffalo Woman.” https://t.co/JNgwPpi3O1 pic.twitter.com/eWnwC8hGWj
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) August 23, 2018
Wearing traditional tribal garments, Irving addressed the crowd.
“Our journeys have been directed in so many different ways, but yet we are still standing here embracing each other as if we haven’t lost any time,” Irving said, via ESPN. “It’s really special for me to be here because I lost my mom at a very young age, and I had no idea about the history and how inclusive this group is and what it means to be part of the Sioux tribe.
“I’m with you guys forever. I hope you don’t mind that.”