BY THADINE QUICK
Cover Photography by Kawai Matthews
A legacy isn’t only about leaving what you earned but also what you learned. From the beginning, she has been deliberately creating a legacy of goodness for her children, and there is nothing more exciting than seeing a woman win; especially a woman brave enough to embrace her own true power. Pamela McGee is that woman and all she does is WIN~WIN~WIN no matter what!
Her story is as bold as a female basketball player confidently taking the last winning shot in a championship game.
Whether the game-of-basketball or the game-of-life, Mrs. McGee is not afraid to dominate ON or OFF the court. On the court, she plays the position of center-forward, off the court she plays from the position of power and strength.
Hall of Famer, Olympic Gold Medalist, and unapologetic sports enthusiast, her athleticism runs deep within her DNA. The legacy continues because she is the first WNBA player to have a child play in the NBA and WNBA. Her son, Javale McGee played with the Denver Nuggets, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Dallas Mavericks, and her daughter Imani Boyette was recently drafted by Chicago Sky.
Courageous Woman Magazine sought out the basketball legend – nothing was off limits. Topics ranged from embracing confidence, women’s empowerment, raising millionaire kids, and the Flint, Michigan water crisis.
CW – Confidence is the new sexy. You exude confidence… Speak to CW Readers about where your confidence comes from.
PM – As a black female, I don’t think we realize how much power and influence we possess; especially in our words and how we speak life over our children, and the men in our life. My mother, the kid’s grandmother Diane McGee, was a strong, tall, statuesque, and an extremely attractive woman. She always demanded excellence. Our legacy started with her. She never left the house without a full face of make-up, dressed to a T, kept a clean house, you could eat off the floor, and she never missed a basketball game or teacher conference. She set a standard of always working hard. She would tell me to stand tall and be beautiful. Her philosophy was you are already tall so when you walk into the room people are going to look at you anyway. Dress like you somebody! ACT AS IF! If you want to be a billionaire – ACT AS IF. She was a phenomenal woman and that’s where I get my confidence.
CW–A Hall of Famer, Single Mom, and Breast Cancer Survivor, which are you most proud of?
PM – I am proudest of raising my children Imani Boyette and Javale McGee. Those are my best accolades. Those are the two things that does my heart good and I love them dearly. And that’s the best thing that I’ve ever done.
CW–An air ball is when the ball doesn’t hit the rim. Tell readers about a time when life threw you an air ball.
PM Well, I am divorced and a breast cancer survivor. Both of those are air balls. But I would say breast cancer is when life threw me an air ball because I just couldn’t believe I had cancer, and as a result of it, it took my right breast. I had always been this world class athlete and made money with my body. But because I was a professional athlete – I knew how to bounce back and put my team together to win. Other people look at their sickness differently. I wouldn’t go to cancer support groups because it would depress me. But air ball or not, I just believe in myself. “I believe that GOD gives us the ability to heal ourselves, and so I’ve been cancer free for 17 years.”
CW – When was the last time you lost it and who was your victim?
PM – Javale, my son, was my victim. I saw the way he was treating his girlfriend and it was not okay. He felt like he could date his girlfriend, and have girls on the side. I’ve raised you to be a man – to love and respect women. You saw how men treated your mother – so why would you be an oppressor! I told him just because women want to sleep with you doesn’t mean you have to sleep with them. And contrary to popular belief, all men do not cheat! As mothers; especially old school mothers, we need to hold our sons accountable.
People come up to me all the time and say, “Wow! Your son is a professional athlete, he doesn’t have kids, DUIs, or been in jail.” And I quickly respond, “EXACTLY! He’s not supposed to have all those things.” That has never been the standard, nor will it ever be the standard me, or his grandmother has set for him.
I remember a man told me, “I don’t get it, women always saying that black men ain’t this, and black men ain’t that, but black men come from black women.”
ON WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT
Empowerment starts with you! My daughter Imani was recently drafted into the WNBA but the real story is she’s SMART! She’s one of the few black accounting students at Macomb School of Business at the University of Texas. She won the president’s award! That’s the #1 senior in the entire school. Over 50,000 students; not to mention in high school she got a 32 on the ACT. That’s big!
Sports keep our daughters out of trouble. I would tell anyone looking to quit, “You started it and you need to finish.” Basketball changed me as a woman, and I know I have an advantage in business because when I look at opportunities – I don’t look at it like it’s a man opportunity. I look at it like its money on the table, and I’m going to get it!
As single moms we can’t control what happens in the world but when we look in the Bible when Joshua said, “As for Me and My House, We Will Serve the Lord.” As a courageous woman, you have to take authority over your household and learn to create a household, for our children and our husbands that is an oasis, and not a place of toxicity.
ON FLINT’S WATER CRISIS
Wow! My sister Alayna has really been one of the people on the forefront. Two years ago, we were tweeting and writing people and never got any media attention until we decided to put a white person, with a white child out as the photo op. Then it went viral. Then it became a national issue. It was poor black people, and poor black people were mainly the underline issue into the bigger scheme of problems affecting the city.
Well, I am an emancipator! The modern day “spiritual” Harriet Tubman! The people I work with call me an emancipator because I am not a pastor or preacher. Not that something is wrong with being a pastor or preacher; it’s just that I don’t agree with some of the lifestyle or some of the traditional religion that we as black people have been oppressed with. I’m not a motivational speaker because I’m more than that because the words that I speak can change a person life so that’s why they call me the emancipator.
Today, I’m working on my ministry... “Come into the ER – Emancipator Repurposed Ministries.” And basically, it’s a place where people, mostly women can go to vent, and find love, and peace. When you’re an alcoholic or drug abuser, you can go to AA or NA but what happens when you need someplace to go when your kids are getting on your nerves, or your husband just walked out? Stay in touch. There is more to come from me and my family. The legacy continues.
This family gets it! Together they have CREATED A LEGACY and discovered the formula to WIN!
From the grandmother, Diane, sharing the blueprint of life which is to speak life and authority over her child… To the mother, Pamela, speaking life and authority over her children, Javale, and Imani. The cycle of support, confidence, and success seems to be as strong as the genetics in their bloodline.
Wherever you are in your life, it’s never too late to tap into your authority and greatness. Take back your children! Speak life over your kids! Become the difference you hope to see. ACT AS IF! With those simple things in place, like the McGee family, you too can be a HALL OF FAMER!
Follow Ms. Pamela McGee on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/PamelaMcGee34
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