Jeff Pendergraph RumorsAll NBA Players
It was also a complicated decision, with a complex back story, one that tests the traditional definitions of blood and family. “I didn’t know who my dad was until I was a senior in high school,” Jeff Ayres said Wednesday, during a break from pickup games as the Spurs’ practice gym. He was born Jeff Orcutt, using his mother LaDona’s maiden name, and became Pendergraph in elementary school when she married. Growing up in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 45 miles east of Los Angeles, the future Jeff Ayres dreamed that his biological father was someone famous, like Denzel Washington or Shaquille O’Neal. A doctor. A musician. Somebody who was somebody. “It turns out it was a mechanic named James,” Ayres said.
In July, the Spurs signed a free agent forward named Jeff Pendergraph to a two-year contract. No player by that name will ever appear in a Spurs uniform. Last month, Pendergraph walked into a courthouse in downtown Phoenix, his wife Raneem and newborn daughter Naomi in tow. He walked out with a new name — Jeff Ayres. Ayres is family name of his biological father, James. It replaces the surname of a stepfather who hasn’t been in the picture since the player formerly known Jeff Pendergraph was in high school.