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WHAT Is it Like Raising an NBA Player?

Tameka Simons, mother of Anfernee, joins the WHAT podcast to talk about their family’s journey to the NBA.

2019-20 Portland Trail Blazers Media Day Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Tameka Simons, mother of Portland Trail Blazer Anfernee Simons, joined the WHAT podcast to talk about what it was like supporting him in his journey to the NBA. She shares how their family got into basketball, what their hectic lifestyle was like, and when she knew Anfernee had a special talent. She talks about what it was like when he was deciding to enter the draft and how it felt on draft night when he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Along the way we talk about why Portland fans are different from other fanbases, what kind of leaders Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are, what Anfernee’s favorite food is, and how many dunks can we expect this season?

It was a dream come true to talk to an NBA mom, get a sense of how much work it takes to get into the league, and hear what her hopes and dreams are for her son. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed getting to know Tameka Simons.

Download the episode.


1:00 Icebreaker: What is your favorite part of the preseason?

2:50 Getting to know Tameka, how she got into basketball. Grew up in Florida, followed the Orlando Magic, named Anfernee after Anfernee Hardaway.

6:30 How did Simons’ love of basketball develop?

7:00 What was he like as a kid and when did you realize he was really talented?

9:00 What were the logistics of training a young person to make it to the NBA? What did he eat?

11:00 What was it like the night he got drafted? (They found out from Woj like everyone else.)

15:30 What was the transition to the NBA like for the family?

18:00 At media day Neil Olshey said that Anfernee is the most talented player he’s drafted during his 15 years in the league. As his mom, what is it like to hear that?

19:00 Do you talk to him about the game afterwards?

23:15 There are big expectations for Simons this season. Have you given him any special advice for how to approach this year? Will he dunk more this season?

25:20 What are some of the hard parts of being the mom of an NBA player? Watching the games is very stressful.

28:00 On Damian Lillard’s leadership.

31:00 What are some of the things you are looking forward to the most this season?

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Music used in the episode: “Happy Alley” Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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