“No matter what they get involved in, football, basketball, band, public speaking, speech — just be very supportive and do everything you can to encourage them to work hard and be the best of the best in whatever they choose. And they have to understand that they are accountable to their family, understand their responsibilities, and if you are religious, they are accountable to the Lord.”

“We always encouraged him and sometimes really pushed Joe to push through hard times, and not to give up no matter what, you know big or small tasks, to keep working at it.”

“If you try to push them into things then maybe they don’t really want it, so be supportive of whatever they choose, expose them to a lot of things, let them try everything– sports or non-athletic events — and help them along the way.”

“We were probably more strict than a lot of his friends’ parents. We had high expectations. We expected him to be respectful and get his homework done before you can play video games and not watch or play video games that were rated higher than he should have been playing, and not watching movies that were rated R before we thought he was ready for that. And going to sleepovers we would always ask the parents what movie are they going to watch, and are the parents going to be home, and if the parents were going to go out, there were a lot of times we didn’t let him go places. Just making sure everything was on the up-and-up and not letting him be exposed to things he was mentally or developmentally not ready to process.”

“As an athlete you learn all the different sports have different motor skills, and that helps in your development, and you’re never sure what you’re going to be best at, and also playing multiple sports keeps them busy.”

“There’s going to be bumps in the road in the NFL, it’s not going to be easy, all the things that you accomplished in these last couple years, nobody really cares about that in the NFL. Just don’t get discouraged because things aren’t going to be perfect out there, and it’s a learning curve, and you got to put in the time just like you always have, and work hard and study.”

“Channel your strengths into them to help them become a strong individual so they can go out and become independent. That’s what we all want.”



“Push the school if you’re gonna push anything. The schooling is everything. Make sure to get them educated.”

“Show up to their games, that means so much to a kid. Be a good parent, don’t be the one screaming, embarrassing your kid, be a good person out there.”

“Let them be kids. You know, a lot of these people you go to these games now, I mean, they’re nuts. Let your kids be kids and enjoy the experience. They’re only kids once.”

“Be a part of your kid’s life and they’re going to show it back, they’ll show respect back to you, and show respect to them.”



Stress less and just enjoy the journey, because the kind of time you spend with your kids, you spend a lot of time with your kids when they’re in the car, they may be tired or sleeping but then they wake up and you could talk to them. Recognize how important those moments are because you know, you can’t ever get them back.”

“We didn’t have a lot of money to do a lot of vacations but we took them camping, or kayaking and they loved it. Whatever is important to your family, plug into. I think it’s important to do that.”

“Be mindful. It’s a great time and you need to appreciate it. And just listen to them. Why is this important to you? It’s important for parents to realize they have their own life to live. They have their own journey and we need to support them.”

“Get resources, read, talk to other parents, plug in. My child’s come out, they’re gay, find out—I read quite a few books on it and just really try to learn a lot, because we were raised as Christians and I wouldn’t say we’re religious but we’ve always had that faith, so it was like ‘okay, we’ve got to look at this completely different perspective here, and it’s okay.’ You can do it.”

“You can support them, and you’re not going to change them, and it’s who they are, and you gotta support them, you might not always agree with some of the things they do and the way they do it, but they’re still your kids and you got to just support them.”



“Be a listener. Be a sounding board. Be that reassurance.”

“Invest yourself. Find time to celebrate and to be family and be together. It could be over tomorrow for any of us. So look back and reflect and celebrate and thank and show gratitude.”

“A lot of parents will let the athlete off the hook for (fulfilling responsibilities) because the pressures are coming from outside to perform. And I never thought it was a good idea to do that.”

“I let him be the maestro in his sport. And we all had our own jobs. Bob (Bowman) didn’t try to parent. I didn’t try to coach.”

“They knew when I walked into that door whether it be 5 o’clock or whatever, the homework had to be there for me to take a look at before he was able to take that bag and go back out the door to practice.”



“Allow your kids to be kids at the age of 10, 12 or 14. They are still kids, and they don’t need to have parents working them over all the time. Sports is supposed to be an outlet, it’s not at 14 supposed to be their lives.”

“Don’t expect (your kids) to be the greatest at everything, because they’re going to lead their own paths. I’ve just seen so many parents vicariously live their kids’ lives and get their kids to be all screwed up. Don’t make them be professional athletes, don’t expect them to be professional athletes.”

“When you’re 7 years of age, or 8 or 10 you don’t know what you’re going to be and be able to play. (Playing multiple sports) does a couple of things: one, it allows you to become better athletically, and second, you broaden your group of friends.”

“The whole sport scene itself is so good because it teaches you time control and all the discipline, you meet different coaches and I just think it helps you develop a great deal in a number of ways.”

“Don’t be the one to kick them, because if you do, these kids are going to burn out. Let them walk their own journey.”



“If you don’t parent your kids, the world will.”

“Don’t be your kids’ friend, be their parent. You’ve got to be strict with them. And sometimes you’ve got to tell them ‘no,’ and you’ve got to keep doing that even when they’re teenagers.”

“I would advise parents to be nosy. Be involved in your kid’s life because there are so many temptations out there, so many distractions, so many bad influences out there.”

“As long as they’re in your house, go through their stuff. It’s easier to catch things before they happen than to try to fix it after it does.”

“You don’t want to care more than they do. You know how sometimes you’re sitting in high school watching (a game) and you think ‘what’s wrong with me, I’m not as into this as some parents?’ Even though you want to support them, that can put pressure on kids. Sometimes things backfire and you never want to want it more than they want it. They’ve got to want it.”



“We stress parents be parents first, always be their parent and always do what’s best for your child, because what I might do might not fit what you do, so do what’s best for YOUR child.”

“Do not let anybody come in and buy your child from you. Don’t let nobody come in and give you $50,000 and take control of your child’s life.”

“Be present. Whenever you’re home. Be nosy and know what your kids are doing on a day to day basis, and let them know that you’re involved.”

“They’re going to walk the right way knowing ‘Hey, somebody’s going to ask me what I did and where I am at the end of the day.’ That’s going to help them keep that thought in their mind throughout the day.”



“Be a parent first. Stay away from trying to be their friend.”

“I think our role is just to help them achieve those dreams and you know, I say this a lot, I don’t want to be a dream killer.”

I think parents sometimes go into something with the hopes of receiving something and they cannot do that. You have to go and raise your kid because that’s your job as a parent, to raise them up.”

“We let our kids try every sport they wanted to and they told us what they wanted to play by just waiting them out. Like I watched and observed my other boys and kids to see their body type. What is the sport that their body would most like be good at? But you can’t outright say “I want you to do that.” You just start zoning in on those things. You kind of just try to steer them in the right direction in a fun kind of manner.”

“The fundamentals are the most important. They keep you from getting hurt, allow you to be a better player. Start cleaning up the details on the fundamentals at this age, that’s really going to help long-term.”

“You put experts around, try to find people who know how to do it. You stay in charge of the process. And if you have good values from inside, good spiritual values, then you can be able to be a strong person, a strong individual. But if you’re dysfunctional from the inside, and you have hurt and pain, yes, then your outside things are not going to function properly.”

“Having certain values and belief and faith, no matter what your faith is, I do believe you have to have some type of spirit, some type of belief, because that’s going to help establish you as an individual.”



“You know what I learned through this whole thing, is that mothering has different roles, but just because you weren’t there when they were growing up in certain stages of their life, that doesn’t separate you from being the mother. You just got to know where your part is as a mom. You know with me, I knew I was his mom. I knew he loved me. I knew that others who came in, they gave something to his life. So I stayed where I was comfortable at with loving him, praying for him, giving him advice, being silly with him, whatever.”

“Don’t go trying to bring back the past. You just got to go ahead and let that go. Just go ahead and develop whatever is there for you and your son or your daughter in the moment that you are all in.”

“There’s always room for development and growth. We use our past to teach (our children) something. But the present, that’s the power right there, so don’t lose it and don’t bow out.”

“You’ve got to be flexible as a parent, because kids are flexible, and you can be a disciplinarian but at a certain age you can’t, you don’t discipline like you did when they were like ten or twelve. It’s got to be something different.”

“Too many people are competing. Trying to be like that parent and that parent — no, find yourself. I know who I am now……I understand now all I gotta do is be me.”

DWYANE WADE, SR.: 3/3/20

“Pay attention to your kids because there’s a lot of things happening in this world and they need more attention, both parents if possible, and just be aware of what’s going on around you. We need to do a better job of parenting.”

“Kids don’t listen to their parents enough. They don’t listen to their grandparents and you know by dads not being in the household, a large amount of kids are getting away from us. So the most parenting advice I would give is to just listen, pay attention and you’ll go far.”

“You should never fall out of love with (your ex.) It’s ok to not be with that person. But that’s the person that you loved once, you should always love them.”

“The biggest mistakes (some NBA) fathers make is getting into their child’s personal business…I think they should stay away from that.”



“Make sure your kids stay in school and they pay attention to education because even playing sports, after the sports you still have to live, have a life. A lot of people don’t have a life after sports.”

“When you live lives where the kids can do whatever they want to do and the kids run the household, telling you what to do and how to do it and where to do it, I just don’t think that’s the way for kids to be raised…there’s safety in structure, sometimes they don’t like it, but they know there’s love.”

“Even if you end up making it toward the NBA or something like that, if you go to school and get an education and get a degree, you’ll be able to have that after — to where you can use that for a stepping stone to do something, start a new business, do something because there’s a lot of people that did play, did make it there – however, in the aftermath they have nothing going on. And life still goes on after and before you even get there. Even if you don’t make it (to the pros), you still need to go to school so that you can have a life. I just feel education is the way.”



“My advice to any parent who has a young athlete would be to learn how to listen to their dreams, instead of having your own for them. And remember that God has a path just for you.”

“Keep it real. All that (fame) is a fantasy world and they can blow you up. But it’s temporary. So you better keep it real. Be real to yourself. Be real in the process. Be real in the peace. Be real in the joy and the happiness.”

“Children need to respect their elders, because they are the wisdom givers. They’re always teaching you something.”

“I have not forgotten the people who helped us along the way, so I try to help somebody out.”

“Children need to know their place. But supporting young people is very important.”

“We make mistakes and that is not going to change. We all make mistakes, but you don’t push people away while they’re in that misery. You try to fix it and help them if you can.”

“Participate in what your child is doing. You just can’t be sitting there. They’ve got to feel you there. You have to participate in the process. They have team mothers, I was a team mother every once in a while.”

“It’s very important if you’re going to be the man in my life, I need help with my son, and you’ve gotta love him like you love me.”



“I wanted to be the cool mom because my mom didn’t think she was as cool as some of the other moms, so I wanted to be more fun. But I did realize I’m not the cool mom. I’m just like my mom. I see myself as very strict — I wanted them to grow up and be the people they are today.”

“I had a big thing about them going to church, and I always say to this day, being in church maybe they’ll hear something and God will teach them to just have good morals and good Christian values.”

On racism/growing up biracial in a small town in Texas: “I think he had some issues with it. He would probably say he didn’t because he would let things just roll off his back. But at times he has said that dating a girl, the families didn’t really like him until they saw he was a really good person. I’ve overheard conversations of some people he would be around that would say things very inappropriate, and I’m like ‘why would you allow them to say that?’ –and he was just nonchalant about it. And I would be the one to speak to them, speak to their parents and say something like ‘this isn’t okay, and if you think it’s okay, then we don’t need you to come around.’”

“I hear my friends at work talk about how they have to drive an hour to go watch this game and I miss those times…I’m doing this with my daughter now because I kind of get another chance at it, thank the Lord. And you know, it’s ok to miss work occasionally, because with Patrick, I never would miss work because I was worried am I going to lose my job? Are they going to find someone else? And so I (tell other parents) just enjoy it, and be in the moment– instead of thinking of tomorrow.”

“As a mom you learn all your kids are different in different ways…I want all my kids to have their thing…my heart swells like bursting inside (seeing my other son’s success) because you (don’t want your other kids) in the shadows.”



“Everybody should be able to chart their own path in life. You know, sometimes I’ve said things to my kids, and they’re like ‘that’s maybe not exactly the way I want it to be done, not necessarily the way it should be done’. Respect their choices.”

“Get out of the way, always pray for them, always put their best interest first, and let them be them.”

“If they make some mistakes, talk to them about it. Give them the best advice you can but let them live, let them enjoy, let them dream big, don’t limit them by your dreams or expectations of what they should do. Let them dream. You know, they might go a lot further than me or you or whatever. Let them dream, support them.”

“How do you know what you love and what you have a passion for if you don’t try different things? I think kids should try different things and not just sports.”

“If you’re going to be with someone who has a kid, you can’t treat that kid any differently than if it were yours. You have to love that kid as if it were your own.”

“It’s ok to be quiet in the background just supporting. And just believe, just put them in God’s hands, because God will take care of it.”

“When you don’t believe, you don’t receive.”


DELL AND SONYA CURRY: 2/6/20 and 2/7/20

“We wanted to build a community for parents where we can come together, not have everyone re-invent the wheel, share lessons learned and show every parent, wherever they are in the process—raising a child or parenting a professional — they’re not alone in this.”

“You’ve got to dare to parent.”

“You’ve got to be hard working because even if the door opens, you’ve got to walk in there and you still have to make the most out of that opportunity or you squander the blessing that you’ve been given.”

“We wanted our kids to play different sports not only for development of their body but to develop their brain.”

“Even with our marriage and things like that, we’ve had challenges that we haven’t always hid from our children, because these are teaching moments. They don’t need to know all the details, but we didn’t hide a lot of things because we don’t want them to think everything’s rosy and then get out in the world and it smacks them in the face….”

“We practice the Sabbath rest; we weren’t going to do things (on Sundays) that would take us away from our family and divide us…”

“Sometimes as parents, we give away a lot of our power and our influence by doubting ourselves and doubting that voice that you have, because of pressure from others…”

“Raising our kids, we gave them everything they needed, but not everything they wanted.”