As a mother raising a young basketball player, we unambiguously prioritized school over sports. A phone call from the school’s principal changed the entire trajectory of where things would go on any given day of the week. When raising Larry, there was absolutely no play time if the school time was not taken seriously. We had a firm understanding in the house that simply stated, “If you are not exceling in school, you will not be allowed to proceed in the sport of your dreams.” We utilized process of elimination and basketball lost every time when it came to poor academics.

His success at school determined how high he could jump on the court. They could coexist; however, if school work was suffering then basketball suffered. Sports was an option; education was mandatory. There was simply no negotiating when it came to sports and education. It was a household rule from elementary school through college.

Vanessa Hughes is the proud mother of Larry Hughes, 13-year NBA veteran. Vanessa has written a series of blogs about her experiences raising a basketball player.


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