Caris Levert is a rising star in the NBA, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers as a versatile guard. Gerald Levert was a legendary singer and songwriter, known for his soulful voice and hits like “Casanova” and “Baby Hold On to Me”. But are they related? The answer is yes, but not very closely.
Caris Levert’s Family Background
Caris Levert was born on August 25, 1994, in Columbus, Ohio. He moved to Pickerington, Ohio, in second grade and attended Pickerington High School Central, where he led his team to a state championship in 2012. He then played college basketball for the Michigan Wolverines, where he became a second-team All-Big Ten player in 2014.
Caris Levert is the son of Darryl and Kim Levert. His father played basketball at Purdue University and was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 1984, but never played in the NBA due to injuries. His mother is a nurse and a former track and field athlete.
Caris Levert is also the third cousin of Eddie Levert, the lead vocalist of the Ohio-based R&B group The O’Jays, known for several hits, including “Love Train”. Eddie Levert is the father of Gerald Levert, who was also a successful singer and songwriter, both as a solo artist and as a member of groups like LeVert and LSG. Gerald Levert passed away in 2006 due to an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.
Gerald Levert’s Musical Legacy
Gerald Levert was born on July 13, 1966, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a musical family, as his father Eddie was one of the founding members of The O’Jays. He started singing at an early age and formed his own group, LeVert, with his brother Sean and friend Marc Gordon in 1983. The group had several hits in the 1980s and 1990s, such as “Pop Pop Pop Goes My Mind” and “Baby I’m Ready”.
Gerald Levert also had a successful solo career, releasing his debut album Private Line in 1991. He went on to release nine more solo albums, earning four Grammy nominations and winning one for his collaboration with Anita Baker on “My Everything”. He also formed supergroups with other R&B stars, such as LSG (with Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill) and The Rude Boys (with Joe Little III and Larry Marcus).
Gerald Levert was known for his smooth vocals, romantic lyrics and charismatic stage presence. He was also a prolific songwriter and producer, working with artists like Barry White, Patti LaBelle, Teddy Pendergrass and Mary J. Blige. He sold over 20 million records worldwide and was regarded as one of the best R&B singers of his generation.
Caris Levert’s Basketball Career
Caris Levert was drafted by the Indiana Pacers with the 20th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, but was traded to the Brooklyn Nets on draft night. He played for the Nets for four and a half seasons, showing flashes of potential but also struggling with injuries. He averaged 18.5 points per game in the 2019-20 season before being traded back to the Pacers in January 2021 as part of the four-team blockbuster deal that sent James Harden to the Nets.
However, during his physical examination with the Pacers, a small mass was discovered on his left kidney. Further tests revealed that it was renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer. He underwent surgery to remove the mass in January 2021 and made a full recovery. He returned to action in March 2021 and finished the season with averages of 20.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.
In February 2022, Caris Levert was traded again, this time to the Cleveland Cavaliers along with a second-round pick for Ricky Rubio and three draft picks. He joined a young and talented Cavs team that features All-Star guard Darius Garland, center Jarrett Allen (his former teammate in Brooklyn) and forward Evan Mobley (the third overall pick in the 2021 draft). He is expected to provide scoring, playmaking and leadership for the Cavs as they compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Caris Levert and Gerald Levert are related as third cousins through their common ancestor Eddie Levert. They both have Ohio roots and have achieved success in their respective fields of basketball and music. However, they never met each other personally, as Gerald died when Caris was only 12 years old. Caris has said that he is proud of his family name and hopes to honor Gerald’s legacy with his own.