NBA player JaVale McGhee made golden history this summer at the Tokyo Olympics with the Team USA men’s basketball team. It was the Phoenix Suns center’s first appearance at the Games, and the first time a son and mother duo have won a gold medal at the Olympics.
JaVale’s mother, Pamela McGhee, is a former WNBA star who played for the LA Sparks. In 1984, she helped the women’s team to victory in gold over South Korea at the Games held in Los Angeles, California. Now retired and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Pamela has often been seen on the court supporting her son, as she has for many years.
Opening up to former professional NFL player Shannon Sharpe for the ‘Club Shay Shay’ podcast, JaVale explained how her mother’s support for her future meant her love and sacrifice had no limits during her life. childhood. Whether it was tackling private school tuition fees or paying the Amateur Athletic Union basketball teams, there was nothing her single mom didn’t make happen – nothing is lost for the 33-year-old.
âEvery day I think about the struggles we went through when I was younger. Having to heat the water in the microwave so I can shower, wash before school type stuff, âJaVale said, reflecting on how far he and his mom have come. âLive in Flint but go to Detroit Country Day, which is a private high school; we had to get up early around 6:45 am, drive 45 minutes to school each day coming from Flint.
The now three-time NBA champion said the simple things of childhood, such as sleepovers at his house, were banned because his family lived in a hotel to make ends meet.
“Not being able to bring my friends over to my house because at one point we were in a hotel – I think like my sophomore year in high school – so I go to my friend’s house who is staying in Detroit Country, obviously they have some fun. “Money. I’m there like whoosh, they have a pantry, they have four-five bedrooms, they live, I appreciate that,” he recalls.
Pamela explained that they shared a single room with a double bed adding, “I could stay in an extended stay and I knew I had only one bill because I was stacking my tokens so he could go into that. private school. They give you a scholarship but you still have to pay your share, and that’s what I had to do after a divorce that killed me. But you know, I put it all together and people just think that one day we woke up. No, I did that, I raised both [JaVale and his sister Imani McGhee-Stanford]; they went to private school.
Ultimately, Pamela shared that feeling sorry for herself and the circumstances she and her children were facing was not an option. It’s the same champion mindset that she and her son share.
âOne of the things he used to say to me was ‘Mom, I never see you cry.’ I was like, ‘Dude that’s milk on the floor what are we going to do? You have to take a mop. Crying is not going to make that milk rise, son; you have to mop. “
For JaVale, having to grow up through difficult times only made him even more endearing to his mother and everything she sacrificed to help him achieve his dreams.
âThe struggle we’ve been through can never take that away from us, and I don’t care what it does to me. It doesn’t matter, âhe said. “She can curse me, call me this and that, whatever she does, she will do me good for the rest of my life, for the rest of her life because it’s serious things she’s been through.” just to make sure I was okay. “
The story of the son-in-law touched JaVale fans who praised his mother for coming along despite the hardships placed on her.
âThe real queen! Hello mom, this is the sacrifice of a good shepherd. Our children are our only valueâ¦ What a way to be blessed â
âBlack moms will get there !!! No matter what the circumstances and what is placed before them, they will make a way. Lots of respect and love Pamela â