What I am Listening to: USA TODAY Sports activities’ Mark Medina breaks down the way forward for the NBA heading into the 2020-21 season.


For the previous month, they admired how their sons returned to paintings and fulfilled a task description that went past dribbling and taking pictures a basketball.

That recognize deepened when the Milwaukee Greenbacks staged a walkout earlier than a playoff sport towards the Orlando Magic in overdue August after a Wisconsin police officer shot Black guy Jacob Blake. In a while afterwards, a number of households of NBA avid gamers arranged a convention name.

“The fogeys began discussing, ‘How are we able to improve our sons?’ ” recalled Beverly Grant-Holston, whose sons play for the Denver Nuggets (Jerami Grant) and the Washington Wizards (Jerian Grant). “Now and again other folks will make you’re feeling like since you care about issues which can be occurring or that you simply discuss out about them that there’s one thing improper with that. However those younger males have a voice. So the oldsters felt we must improve them, and that we actually have a voice.”

So, a handful of NBA mothers have adopted their sons’ efforts through talking out on systemic racism and taking part in quite a lot of vote casting tasks.  

The Wizards are one in all 23 NBA franchises webhosting vote casting websites at their venue. The moms of Los Angeles Lakers guard Quinn Prepare dinner (Janet), Golden State Warriors ahead Damion Lee (Michelle Riddick) and Grant-Holston are volunteering as ballot employees at Capital One Area. Janet Prepare dinner began as a greeter ultimate week and plans to paintings there thru Election Day. Grant-Holston and Riddick will assist as election judges on Sunday and Election Day, which can entail registering same-day electorate and signing in other folks that experience already registered.

Janet Prepare dinner, the mother of Los Angeles Lakers guard Quinn Prepare dinner, is helping sign up a voter. (Picture:

The participation manner a lot more than the $250 stipend they’re going to obtain for donating their time. The NBA mothers additionally need to carry out their civic accountability all over a contested presidential election between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, the longtime Senator and former vice president.

“Whether your child is the star player of the NBA or the 12th man riding on the bench, we’re in a privileged position,” Riddick said. “When you’re in a privileged position, you have to use that to give back to other people and to do things that are going to help other people.”

The mothers of Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant (Wanda), Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo (Joan) and NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris (Thomasine) also participated in When We All Vote’s “Fuel the Vote” in Philadelphia on Sept. 26, a drive-thru food and voter registration drive directed toward those in need because of the coronavirus pandemic. So did Grant-Holston, Cook, Riddick, the mother of former NBA player Hakeem Warrick (Queen) as well as the wife of former NBA player Gerald Henderson Jr. (Marie). Mothers of Dallas Mavericks guard Trey Burke (Ronda) and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Evan Turner (Iris James) are helping as voting deputies in Franklin County, Ohio. 

As for the latest event? Cook, (events staffing), Riddick (registered nurse) and Grant-Holston (HR director with FEMA) had to carve some time out of their work schedule to help with voting efforts. 

They each took a four-hour training course last week to prepare for their roles.

“I don’t know why it took them until 2020 to develop an Election week versus an Election Day,” Cook said. “The week makes it so much easier.”

Still, this experience has many challenges.

“I definitely had some hesitation because of the virus and being around so many people,” Grant-Holston said.

So far, Cook has gushed about seeing friendly faces, diverse groups and first-time voters. But she’s also nervous.

“If Trump wins, a lot of people are going to be upset,” said Cook. “If Biden wins, a lot of people are going to be upset.

“We’re not going to hear the result right away.”

This is an important time. The NBA moms are practicing what they preached when raising their sons and about going out to vote.

“I’m putting out positive energy,” Riddick said. “So I’m expecting people to come out and vote and really be responsible adults and be courteous and not have rude behavior. I’m expecting a large turnout because it seems like everyone is fueled up for this election.”  

Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Fb and Instagram.


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