The Atlantic

How NBA Moms Help Their Sons Deal With the Fame and Fortune

The realities of professional basketball can be daunting for players and their families alike. A close-knit network of mothers helps them through it.
Source: Eric Gay / AP

When the 21-year-old Georgetown University basketball star Roy Hibbert was drafted into the NBA by the Toronto Raptors in 2008, then traded immediately to the Indiana Pacers, it wasn’t only Hibbert who didn’t know what to expect. Neither did his mother. “It was my only child,” Paddy Hibbert told me. “It was hard for me to see him go out there and face that world of competitiveness, of traveling.” Hibbert wanted to help, but what did she know about the NBA? Unable to think of anything better, she found a general contact number for the NBA’s headquarters in New York, and phoned to ask for guidance. But the man who answered couldn’t help her.

Then, through a helpful youth coach, she found a number for Marsha Mason Wonsley, whose son, Roger Mason Jr., played for the Washington Wizards. Wonsley told her about an organization called Mothers of

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