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WATCH THIS: Former UW basketball star Nigel Hayes pays off parents’ mortgage

Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 1:34 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Nigel Hayes may have headed overseas to play professional basketball following his four-year run at the University of Wisconsin, but his heart obviously never went far from his hometown: Toledo, Ohio.

The former Badgers star recently paid off the mortgage on his parent’s Toledo house.

His parents received the news via a letter Hayes sent. A video on Twitter shows their reaction.

“I call you the Queen of the Universe and that’s because you are the greatest woman in it,” Hayes writes to his mother. The letter also says he’s been keeping track of everything they’ve done for him, and the total just so happened to equal the rest of their mortgage.

“Up until now, the house technically wasn’t yours,” part of the letter reads. “I’m happy to say the house now belongs to you, because the mortgage has been paid off.”

Hayes played four years for the Badgers after being a three-star recruit out of Whitmer. He played in two Final Fours, including a national runner-up finish during his sophomore season. He was a three-time All-Big Ten pick.

Nigel Hayes, from Wisconsin, participates in the running vertical jump at the NBA draft...
Nigel Hayes, from Wisconsin, participates in the running vertical jump at the NBA draft basketball combine Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)(Charles Rex Arbogast | AP)

After going undrafted, Hayes signed with the New York Knicks, playing with their NBA G League team. He played nine games in the NBA over three seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, and Sacramento Kings.

Hayes signed with a team in the Turkish league in 2018. He’s played two seasons with a team in the Lithuanian Basketball League.

A Whitmer administrator delivered the letter to Hayes’ parents and recorded the video.

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Copyright 2021 WMTV. All rights reserved.