The PushTech 2020 summit hosted “Mother’s of the NBA” on April 12 and featured Wanda Durant, mother of 7-time NBA All-star Kevin Durant. Dressed in a black and white pants suit, Durant discussed her life in conversation with Intel’s Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Affairs and President of the Intel Foundation, Rosalind Hudnall.
Lovingly referred to as “The Real MVP” by her son after winning the 2017 NBA Finals and being named MVP, Durant reflected on her journey’s challenges and triumphs. As a single parent, Durant struggled with self esteem and felt “undeserving of happiness.”
“During a very low point, I attempted suicide,” she said.
The silence in the room was lifted as Durant flashed her bright smile and said, “Had I succeeded I’d of missed out on all of this”, referring to the past 10 years of her son’s basketball career. The audience cheered. Durant says that her faith, close bond with her own mother and time with close friends have sustained her.
Fondly known as Mama Durant, the audience was shown a clip of her in action. During an interview after the 2017 NBA finals, Durant stood up for her son’s decision to move from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors.
“Do other people get the same pressure when they go for the best opportunity in their careers, that’s what we chose,” she said. “You have to do what’s best for you.”
Durant spoke of how her son recently donated 10 million dollars to a worthy cause but also the reality of how she fears for her son’s lives in the racial climate of today.
“Money can’t protect you from racism,” she said.
Now in her 50s, Durant said that she never dared to dream. “I didn’t start dreaming dream of my own until I was in my 40s,” she said. “It took a while for me to realize that I could be more than an NBA mom and parent,” she said. Durant created the Hope, Dream, Believe and Achieve, her motivational platform where she shared the parenting skills she discovered while raising her son’s Kevin and Anthony.
More recently, Durant founded her non profit, the Wanda Durant The Real MVP™ Charity, Inc. “My goal is to inspire single mothers and undeserved communities,” she said.
Durant also supports the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, the Single Parents Support Network, Baller Moms, Positive Tomorrows, among others. Durant’s life story“The Real MVP: The Wanda Durant Story” was produced by Queen Latifah which is now available on DVD.
The evening also included panel discussion, “Women Warriors of Tech,” featuring tech powerhouses; Google’s Valeisha Butterfield, Molly Ford of Salesforce, Aptica’s Laura Gomez, Lisa Mae Brinson of Wonder Woman and CNN Commentator Angela Rye.