In honor of Mother’s Day, here are some of the moms in sports that I admire most.
- Wilma McNabb (Mother of Donovan McNabb)
Famously replaced an actress playing Donovan’s mom in a Chunky soup commercial so that she could play the role herself. She set a precedent for other athlete’s moms to do the same thing in their son’s commercials and other endorsements.
- Candace Parker (Mother to Lailaa Williams)
Before becoming a mom, Candace won a WNBA MVP award and an Olympic Gold Medal for Team USA. Since becoming a mom in 2009, she has won another WNBA MVP award and another Olympic Gold Medal. In spite of these accolades, Candace still considers being a mother her greatest accomplishment.
- Sonya Curry (Mother of Steph and Seth Curry, Grandmother to Riley Curry)
A darling of the TV cameras, Sonya married former NBA player Dell Curry and had two boys who both became NBA players themselves. Oh, and one is currently the greatest player on the planet and reigning MVP. Bonus points for being Riley Curry’s grandmother too, potentially this past year’s best sport’s baby.
- Diane Walters (Mother of Rob, Dan, Gordie, Chris, and Glenn Gronkowski)
Diane deserves some sort of global award for having to raise FIVE Gronk boys. The amount of testosterone in that house must have been overwhelming. Kudos to her for not only surviving that hurricane but also raising all five boys to be collegiate athletes. Topping it off, the most famous Gronk, Rob, was born on Mother’s Day, which adds a little extra to her ranking.
- Janet Hill (Mother of Grant Hill)
Janet has one of the most impressive professional resumes you will ever see. Vice President of Alexander & Associates, a Washington D.C.-based consulting firm. Former teacher at the High School and Collegiate levels. College roommate to Hillary Clinton at Wellesley College. And her son Grant won two NCAA championships at Duke before he played 19(!) NBA seasons.
- Linda Staal (Mother of Eric, Jared, Jordan, and Marc)
Four sons, four NHL players. Now that is impressive. Linda’s sons have won two Stanley Cups, an Olympic Gold Medal, and appeared in numerous All Star Games. She should hold seminars with Diane Walters on raising boys. Mother’s Day is celebrated up North in Canada too.
- Olivia Manning (Mother of Peyton and Eli Manning)
Arguably the most famous family in football, Olivia’s sons have led their teams to four Super Bowl trophies, three Super Bowl MVPs, and five regular season MVPs. While some may argue that father and former NFL Quarterback Archie has the good genes, he won zero Super Bowls and zero MVPs, so clearly Olivia is the main reason for their offsprings’ success.
- Kerri Walsh Jennings (Mother of Joseph, Sundance, and Scout Jennings)
Three time Olympic gold medalist in Beach Volleyball for Team USA, Kerri found time to simultaneously raise her three children and train to be at the top of her sport. Her dedication was most clearly on display during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, when Kerri was 5 weeks pregnant with son Scout and won a Gold Medal.
- Leigh Anne Tuohy (Adopted Mother of Michael Oher)
The only mom on this list to have a major film based upon her and her son’s lives. Leigh Anne famously adopted young Michael Oher while he was homeless and living in poverty as a child. She raised him as part of her family in Memphis until he got a scholarship to Ole Miss prior to his NFL career. Bonus that Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne.
- Wanda Pratt (Mother of Kevin Durant)
Wanda the real MVP. Bring your son home to DC!
Happy early Mother’s Day to my mom and all of the other moms in the world!
Photo Credits (from top to bottom): Getty Images Sport/Brian Bahr, JukeLeft.com, ESPN.com, Mark Humphrey/AP, Patriots.com, Twitter/@realgranthill33, dairygoodness.ca, Bill Frakes/SI, volleyballmag.com, Leigh Anne Tuohy, Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports