01/07/2011 1:32 PM ET
Joseph family tree predominant in D-I ranks
Canadian basketball clan thrives in college hoops
By Adam Zagoria / SNY.tv
Kris Joseph is averaging 15.3 points to go with 5.3 rebounds per game for No. 4 Syracuse. (AP)

A couple of years ago Kris Joseph was playing in an All-Star game in Canada when a man approached him and revealed some hitherto unknown family connections.

David Joseph told him that he was related to his Kris' father, Michael, and that his own two sons, Devoe and Cory, were Kris' cousins.

"It was overwhelming at first," Kris, a 6-foot-7 junior forward at Syracuse, said Friday by phone. "I didn't know whether to believe it or not, but I come to find out it's true."

In fact, the Joseph family tree has spread throughout the Division I basketball ranks.

Kris is averaging a team-best 15.3 points to go with 5.3 rebounds per game for No. 4 Syracuse (15-0, 2-0 Big East), which visits Seton Hall (7-8, 1-2) Saturday.

Cory, a talented freshman guard, is averaging 11.2 points and 3.9 assists for No. 12 Texas, which hosts No. 8 UConn Saturday.

Devoe Joseph recently opted to transfer from Minnesota midway through his junior season and is considering a number of schools, including West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Oregon, Baylor, Charlotte and Niagara.

Maurice Joseph, Kris's older brother, graduated from Vermont and is now playing professionally overseas.

Another cousin, Troy Joseph, is a freshman at LIU.

"It's definitely a true basketball family," said Grassroots Canada's Ro Russell, who coached Cory and Devoe in the AAU ranks. "Great genes. They all can shoot. All the Joseph boys, they all could shoot."

Russell said David Joseph, Devoe and Cory's father, could have played high-major basketball in the U.S. had he grown up in a different era. Instead, he starred at the University of Guelph.

"He played way back in the early '80s," Russell said. "Back then in Canada there was no exposure. If he played now, the father would've been high major."

Kris and Maurice grew up in Montreal, and Cory and Devoe come from Toronto.

"I'm from Montreal and they're from Toronto so we didn't get to play with each other too much," Kris said. "When we got to 15 and 16, Devoe and I did the Canada basketball development thing together. Devoe and I were pretty close."

Kris said he and Devoe stay in touch, "making sure we're doing the right things on and off the court."

Of Devoe's transfer, Kris said, "It's unfortunate to transfer as a junior. I wish him all the best and he knows that."

This generation of Josephs likely won't be the last, either.

Kris has a 7-year-old nephew, Jayden, who watches all the Syracuse games.

"He really wants to learn more and find out more about basketball," Kris said.

So what does all of this say about the Joseph family tree and its basketball strengths?

"I think it says more about Canada," Kris said. "It definitely shows that we have a talented group of cousins there."

Adam Zagoria is a regular contributor to SNY.tv. Read his blog at ZagsBlog.com and follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AdamZagoria.
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