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Pamela McGee Said Her Son JaVale Is 'Not a Knucklehead' before Both Made Olympic History

Stephen Thompson
Oct 10, 2021
10:30 P.M.

Former WNBA player Pamela McGee isn't just the first mother to have her kids while in the NBA; she also won gold at the 1984 Games and raised another Olympic champion. Read more about her.


Olympic gold medalist Pamela McGee says her son, Javale McGee, is not a pushover, and although he can be sloppy, he is sure, not slacking, and basketball fans can testify to this.

Just like his mom, who is famous for her basketball prowess, Javale has made a name for himself in the world of sports. He is a three-time NBA champion and has won other medals in the sport.

Former WNBA star Pamela McGee and her son Javale McGee. | Photo: Getty Images

Former WNBA star Pamela McGee and her son Javale McGee. | Photo: Getty Images


Hall of Fame winner and former WNBA iconic player Pamela, who is now 58-year-old is the first mom to have her kids in the NBA and the WNBA. The USC Trojans legend and her children have continued to make history in sporting records.

Her son Javale won an Olympic gold medal in basketball, playing for the United States national team this year, making him and Pamela the first mother and son gold medalist in the history of the Olympics.


In 1984 Pamela's team won against South Korea 85-55 and walked away with the gold medal at the Olympics. History repeated itself when Javale received a gold medal at the Tokyo Games, beating France 87-82.

Javale and Pamela McGee on Today show on Wednesday August 11, 2021. | Photo: Getty Images

Javale and Pamela McGee on Today show on Wednesday August 11, 2021. | Photo: Getty Images

However, over the years, Javale McGee has had his fair share of wins and losses. But through the victories and his lowest points, the 33-year-old NBA player has always had his mother's support.

It is pretty safe to say Pamela is quick to defend her son when the public kicks against his professionalism. Just before Javale and the Wizards met with the Oklahoma City Thunder for one of the best games this season, Pamela said:

"He is not a knucklehead."


The former WNBA player explained that if she were the Wizards and were trying to build a franchise, she would help develop a talent like Javale's. However, in recent times the 33-year-old three-time NBA champion has had some losses, resulting in backlash on social media.


But as usual, Pamela rose to his defense, explaining how Javale's sloppy style is a way to break the regular play system. She also noted that she wouldn't like her son to continue losing as she believes he is the future of the NBA.


Pamela also reacted to basketball coach Flip Saunders's criticism of Javale's play during one of the games. The angry mom noted that she has never mistreated her players as a coach, and she further explained that:

"If I had a problem, I would take that player to the locker room and would let them know and we would work it out. I would never throw my player under the bus."



Pamela started pursuing a career in sports during her high-school years. She grew up in Michigan, where she attended Flint Southwestern Academy and graduated from Flint Northern High School. She started playing professionally with the Dallas Diamonds.

Pamela has won several accolades with a unique skill, and she was named one of the few women basketball players who has won on every level. Her kids Javale and his younger sister Imani McGee-Stafford are also reaching for the stars like their mom.


Imani played in the WNBA from 2016- 2019, and her brother has been with the NBA for years. Pamela, 58, trained her kids to be professional basketball players while maintaining a demanding career. Javale once revealed that she always pushed him to do better.

Pamela noted that she appreciates her son's gold medal more than hers.



The McGee's are one athletic family filled with gifted players. The family's achievement in sporting history is no secret, and a series of posts on social media features their wins over the years.

Javale's Instagram page shows his accomplishments as well as other fun times as a basketball player. His swiftness in the court, accompanied with good looks, keeps his 1.8m followers in constant awe.


His sister Imani who inherited Pamela's beauty and rocked a similar hairstyle with the Hall of Fame winner, also stands out for her uniqueness on social media. A series of photos uploaded on her Instagram page features outstanding style and charity works.

Team USA acknowledged McGee's accomplishments on Twitter after Javale walked away with a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. A photo of Javale flipping a ball into the net was uploaded alongside the tweet.


Javale, who has always acknowledged his mother's versatility, once shared a throwback photo of the WNBA legend and praised her in his caption. The photo showed a younger Pamela in a white sleeveless top while a gold medal hung around her neck.

A documented clip of the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest shared on YouTube also shows the mother-son bond. In the video, Pamela kissed Javale on the cheek as he set out for his challenge.

She went on to plant friendly kisses on the judge's cheeks before standing to watch Javale perform. The 33-year-old gold medalist was supposed to throw two balls in the net successfully. It was pretty tricky at first, but in the end, he flipped three balls in.



Javale and Pamela wouldn't have made another history if the NBA champion wasn't added to the new US men's team after Kevin Love and Bradley Beal sustained injuries and dropped out. Nevertheless, Pamela and Javale are keeping the mother-son accomplishments going.

Like his mother, Javale, 6-foot-10, grew up in Flint, Michigan. He played for two seasons at the University of Nevada, and in 2008, he became the Washington Wizards' first-round draft pick.


In a recent interview, the mother and son talked about how it felt to be the first to accomplish something new. For Javale, it is a fantastic experience.

Pamela noted that she appreciates her son's gold medal more than hers. The doting mom explained that watching Javale win was "extremely rewarding" as she is well aware of the struggles.


Javale's gold medal continues to make headlines, and fans have not gotten over the mother-son duo. As the Golden State Warriors center JaVale returned home with the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy, he was received with open arms.

He showed off his trophy at the International Academy of Flint and addressed hundreds of students. Pamela, who couldn't contain her joy, introduced the new champion to her aunt during the homecoming tour.

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