If you're a college football fan, you're surely aware of Drake Maye, the University of North Carolina quarterback who is so excellent that he's nearly pushing the transcendent Caleb Williams to be picked first in the upcoming NFL Draft. He's third in the country in passing yards and has thrown 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions, but amazingly, he might not be the most accomplished UNC athlete at the table at his own family's Thanksgiving later this month.
That's right, he's part of the same Maye family as Luke Maye, a Tar Heels basketball star who hit the famous March Madness buzzer beater to send UNC to the 2017 Final Four, in which they would go on to win that year's National Championship. The following season was actually Luke's best, as he shot 43.1 percent from three-point range and scored nearly 17 points per game.
Luke Maye and Drake Maye honored here on the big screen in the Smith Center. pic.twitter.com/psMn5KmybO
— Ross Martin (@RossMartinNC) January 18, 2023
While the older Maye owns a more iconic North Carolina moment than Drake, who has yet to win anything with the team, but having never risen higher than the NBA G-League, this just might be the last year where he holds bragging rights over his little brother, who will likely be about 10 games into his NFL career 12 months from now.
Drake Maye's Family Has North Carolina Ties Everywhere
Two brothers making history at the same school would be quite the story all on its own, but there's even more to the Maye family and their accomplishments in Chapel Hill; there's a third Maye brother in powder blue, and even their dad Mark competed as a Tar Heel
200th game at UNC amongst the Maye Family. pic.twitter.com/2aSOuW76hX
— emilyetaylor (@emilyetaylor23) October 15, 2023
Beau's basketball career has gotten off to a slow start, but he's still contributed to the remarkable family stat seen above; over 200 total games played for UNC. The patriarch Mark made an impact in Chapel Hill as well, as a quarterback like his son Drake, and started for two seasons. His best was the 1986 campaign, in which UNC won 12 games and reached the Aloha Bowl.
Even beyond Chapel Hill, this is a family of athletes. Mark's father, Jerry Maye, was a hard-throwing lefty pitcher at a smaller North Carolina institution, Catawba College in Salisbury. He once struck out 18 batters in a game, still a school record, and owns three other career and season records at Catawba, having also held the career strikeouts record until 2013, and is a member of the school's Hall of Fame.
Don't ask me how, but Cole Maye, another older brother of Drake's, managed to escape the state of North Carolina entirely and played his college baseball for the University of Florida. Cole didn't have a particularly distinguished individual career as a Gator, but the 6'7" lefty pitcher does own a National Championship ring just like Luke, as he was a member of that 2017 Florida squad that went all the way.
It doesn't seem like Drake is going to pick up any hardware of his own; it's much harder to become a champion in football at UNC than it is in basketball, and after a pair of ACC losses, their conference hopes appear to be dashed as well. But his career is far from over, as he'll look to become the first member of the family to have a significant career in an American professional league. Stay tuned to see the end of his distinguished UNC career play out across the rest of this season, and what he's able to accomplish in the NFL after what is sure to be a fascinating draft process.
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