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Zach Edey’s mom is his No.1 fan and shares powerful one-word message before biggest game of Purdue giant’s career

Zach Edey is one win away from college basketball immortality.

On Monday night, Edey’s Purdue Boilermakers will take on No. 1 seed UConn in the national championship game of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.


Edey was the consensus best player in this year’s tournamentCredit: Getty

7ft 4in Edey dominated March Madness this year, winning the 2024 Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Award and gaining legions of new fans.

Despite his newfound popularity, mom Julia remains Zach’s No. 1 fan and shared a powerful one-word message to her son on the eve of the monumental match.

“BELIEVE,” Julia wrote on X on Monday, a few hours before the denunciation.

Edey was born to Julia and Glen Edey in 2002 and grew up in the Leaside neighborhood of Toronto.

Julia is a first generation Chinese Canadian and comes from a working class family who took pride in the restaurant they owned.

“She knows everything about hard work. She knows everything about working even when no one is paying attention,” Zach told CBS Sports in 2023.

“My mom kind of grew up learning things on her own and she passed that on to me.”

The 21-year-old big man shares an incredibly close bond with his mother, who played a pivotal role in his basketball development.

Edey hugged his mother Julia Edey before winning the Naismith Men's College Player of the Year award.


Edey hugged his mother Julia Edey before winning the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year award.Credit: Getty
They shared a special moment after Purdue's Elite Eight victory


They shared a special moment after Purdue’s Elite Eight victoryCredit: Getty

Julia traveled across Canada and the United States when Zach was young to ensure he enrolled in the best basketball camps.

During her freshman year of college, she retired from her job as a mechanical engineer to move closer to Purdue.

“A lot of people look at their mother as kind of the rock of their life and I’m the same way,” Zach told The Canadian Press in 2023.

“I come from an immigrant family… my mother didn’t have time to understand that and it wasn’t something at that time that they would have thought was something to aspire to in dream terms,” Julia added.

Julia became a March Madness star herself, even creating “Big Maple” merchandise – a nickname she gave to Zach to honor his Canadian roots.

She has a strong presence on social media and can be seen dancing in the crowd at Zach’s games, including the NCAA tournament.

Before Purdue’s Final Four game with NC State, Julia was part of a heartwarming feature on TNT where she recorded a message to play for Zach.

“This trip you invited me to was incredible,” she said.

“I’m so grateful to be here…I’ve told you before, while I’m incredibly proud to see what you’ve done, I’m more proud of how you’ve done it: with class , with courage, find who you are and stay true to this essential element.

“Now go kick some more ass. Have fun, do what you do and know that I’m still with you. And I’m a very lucky mom to have had a child like you. Enjoy and savor every second .You truly “We were built for this and worked so hard to get it. So go get it, darling. I will encourage him as always. “

Responding to the touching video, Zach said: “She’s a great mom.

“The things she did for me. It’s essential for me to have the success I’ve had.

“Being in the Final Four with her. Being able to share this with her after everything we’ve been through. I know she will love it, and it will be something I cherish forever.

Zach’s father Glen is just as supportive as Julia, although slightly less visible.

Still, Glen was there to watch his son and the Boilermarkers defeat the Michigan State Spartans and win the Big Ten Championship in early March.

Zach’s parents are no doubt hoping that he can finish his college basketball career on a high and win a national title before going to the NBA.


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