Sports and the lifestyle behind it is what we’re drawn to as consumers. We watch it on television, buy apparel and live vicariously through the players via social media, such as Twitter and Instagram. But it’s important to remember that certain sacrifices have been made to get your favorite athletes in a position to be successful. It takes a village to raise a child, and an even bigger village to help maintain an athlete’s success once they have arrived. The Mothers of Professional Basketball Players is that bigger village.
Founded in 1996 by 23 founding mothers, the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players is an organization developed to reach out to professional basketball players in time of need. The primary goal of the organization is to support the various communities where sons and daughters live, work and play. Charlotte Brandon, mother of retired NBA vet Terrell Brandon is the former president of the organization. Brandon recently passed on the baton to Lucille O’Neal, mother of NBA Hall of Famer and TNT Sports analyst Shaquille O’Neal.
Momma O’Neal takes the role seriously and believes that the organization represents the connection to the world of professional basketball and the world at large. “Each time we come together, we’re supporting various organizations and trying to make the world aware that we do other things than just sitting on the sidelines,” O’Neal told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
In existence for 18 years, the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players has many new faces in the NBA since it’s inception. But that shouldn’t hinder moms of players to want to join: “We’re the mothers, they’re our sons, we want to make people feel like we’re apart of something,” said Reverend Jolinda Wade, mom of Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade.
“I have a lot of connection with a lot of moms.”
Don’t get it twisted; it’s not just a hangout group that meets and swaps stories.
The Mothers of Professional basketball players are running, assisting and putting up high numbers just like their sons on the court. Since its inception, the 501 (c) (3) organization speaks to teen mothers and supported organizations for single parents, hosted toy drives and coat drives during the holidays and given to the Boys and Girls Clubs and Sickle Cell Foundation.
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