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Gonzaga Basketball

Nembhard family has connections to Gonzaga and Creighton

Gonzaga's Andrew Nembhard shoots from close range during a December win over West Virginia in Indianapolis.  (Associated Press)

Claude Nembhard is quite familiar with Gonzaga’s and Creighton’s programs.

His son, Andrew, is a starting guard for the top-ranked Bulldogs. His youngest son, Ryan, is starting point guard and a team captain at prep power Montverde (Florida) Academy. Ryan committed to Creighton last June.

The Zags and Bluejays tangle Sunday in the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis.

“I’m glad (the game) isn’t next year,” texted Claude, who has a background in coaching and was recently named interim executive director of Ontario Basketball in Canada. “It should be a good game. Both teams want to play fast. Whoever defends should have success.”

Claude and wife Mary traveled from the family home in Aurora, north of Toronto, to Indianapolis to watch the Zags in March Madness. Ryan, ranked No. 105 in the 2021 class by 247sports, is at Montverde, which is preparing for next week’s Geico Nationals tournament. Montverde (22-1) is the top seed.

Andrew also played at Montverde before spending his first two seasons at the University of Florida. Andrew and Ryan have experience on Canadian junior national teams. Andrew played for Canada’s senior national team in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Andrew averages 8.9 points and 4.1 assists for the undefeated Zags.

“Nembhard gives them an unbelievable boost,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “He’s a magician with the ball and the way he sees the floor and creates things for everybody else.”