Celebrating the year’s best sports moms this Mother’s Day
Mothers are our caretakers, teachers, nurturers and our biggest fans. This Mother's Day, we celebrate the moms who have shared the spotlight with their famous athlete children in the past year.
Angela Means and Brad Kaaya
Quarterback Brad Kaaya may have the sheen of being drafted by the Detroit Lions, but his mom, Angela Means Kaaya, is not someone to be left on the sidelines. In addition to raising an upstanding draftee, she is also an actress — most notably as the infamous "Felisha" of "Bye, Felisha" (or as the memes call it, "Bye, Felicia") fame in the Ice Cube-Chris Tucker joint "Friday."
The Washington Wizards guard's mom is Beal's most ardent fan ... and at times, his harshest critic. "Since I was a little 6 year old, you pushed me and challenged me every single day," Beal wrote on Mother's Day in 2015. "There were times we fought and argued I wanted to give up but you never let me. You stood by me through thick and thin and I know if no one else has my back, you surely do. You taught me everything I know and look at the man I'm becoming right in front of you."
"My mom is the all-seeing eye in the sky. And she definitely doesn’t lie. She knows exactly what I’m doing right or wrong, because she taught me everything I know," Beal wrote in the Players' Tribune in April.
Lucille and Shaquille O'Neal
Not only does Shaq's mom come out in support of her larger-than-life son (like when his Lakers statue was unveiled at Staples Center, above), but Lucille O'Neal was also the reason Shaq finally ended his "Shaqtin' a Fool" feud with Javale McGee.“It’s not funny anymore, seeing the things they’re saying to each other,” Lucille O'Neal told The Undefeated's Mike Wise. “They need to squash this and move on.”
"Just say Shaq’s mom called him, told him, ‘Stop this silliness. Leave him alone.’ So that’s the end of the beef," Shaq added. "You won’t be hearing about it from my side anymore. Mama has spoken.”
Mom is always right.
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Galynn and Tom Brady
The New England Patriots star quarterback said he won Super Bowl LI for his mother (center), who missed his entire season due to a cancer battle, but who came out to see her son lead the Patriots to a come-from-behind victory to win their fifth championship.
The Giants cornerback's mom, Annie, also happens to be a stellar writer with an insightful, entertaining Twitter account who does not shy away from putting groupies on notice or keeping her son grounded. "Eli was offered Rolex watches and diamonds to wear on draft day," Annie wrote in Sports Illustrated. "I told him, 'Dude, you’re an unemployed college dropout. You will not be on TV with a Rolex.' So we decided if he needed to know what time it was, he could just look at his phone. I bought him a portable charger."
Dancing Warrior Mom
Robin Schreiber became a viral sensation and an instant inspiration to mothers everywhere when the former teacher showed off her considerable dance moves while wearing a Warriors Christmas sweater last fall. "In the hallways of Oracle Arena and in the women's restrooms, people come up to me and say, 'You stand for us mothers. The Warrior Girls, you know, everybody that dances is always beautiful and young and you're just not afraid to stand up there and do it and we know you're a mom," Schreiber told NBC Bay Area.
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
JaVale and Pamela McGee
Pamela may be a retired WNBA player (selected No. 2 overall in the 1997 draft), but her defense is still on point, as seen when she spoke out about Shaquille O'Neal's relentless online ribbing of her son Javale. "He cyberbullied my son," Pamela told The Undefeated. "Totally inappropriate. Shaquille needs to lose his job or be suspended. The NBA needs to make a stand."
The “Veep” and “Seinfeld” star and her husband, Brad Hall, had become sideline mainstays cheering on their son, Northwestern player Charlie Hall, during the Wildcats' Cinderella run through the Big 10 and NCAA tournament.
AP Photo/George FreyAP
Kevin Durant's mom had the perfect response to Thunder fans who called her son as a cupcake when he returned to OKC, putting on the very cupcake t-shirt that was used to mock her son ("After this tough & crazy weekend, I realized how much I love a GREAT!!! Cupcake. #LoveConquersHate"). But Mama Durant, as she calls herself, will also turn that tough love on her son as well, as seen when she Tweeted out this photo of herself with KD teammate-turned-bitter-rival Russell Westbrook's mother — and then tagged both Durant and Westbrook, and with the hashtag #SistersForLife — during All-Star Weekend.