Hall of Famer and USC Trojans legend Pamela McGee and current NBA star JaVale McGee have made history as the first mother-son duo to win gold medals in Olympics history, reports Today.
JaVale is adding his gold medal to the family trophy case along with his mother’s who won a gold medal in 1984 .
“Now my running gag is that I’m the only Olympian basketball player to birth an Olympian!” Pamela remarked in the interview.
Not only has JaVale brought home an Olympic gold medal, but he’s also won three NBA titles over the course of his 13-year career. Pamela expressed her massive pride in her son's accomplishments.
“I’m really proud of him, of his resiliency,” Pamela noted. “As mothers, we just want them to max out their capacity and to be the best that God has called them to be.”
JaVale joined the Olympic team with only a week to prepare after replacing NBA All-Star Kevin Love who withdrew because of his health reasons.
He reflected on how the Olympic experience is in its own lane compared to other sports competitions.
“You’re fighting for your country,” JaVale noted. “Everyone in the world is watching. You’re on the world stage.”
Pamela said she taught her children to hone their talents just as her mother taught her.
“What I instilled in both of my children is to max out your capacity. Never be a child that says, 'coulda, woulda, shoulda,'" Pamela said. “I was born to a teenage mother that had twins at 17, and she instilled that spirit of excellence and resiliency.”
“I just hope that I passed that down to them, and they understand that they didn’t just wake up and become Olympians. Somebody sacrificed, somebody paid a price and it’s their obligation to take it the next level,” she added.
The McGees are one of the great basketball dynasties in American history. Pamela, along with her twin sister Paula McGee Ph.D., won back-to-back NCAA Championships as an All-American at the University of Southern California, where she was a teammate of legends Cynthia Cooper and Cheryl Miller.
She holds the distinction of being the only WNBA mom to have a son and daughter drafted in the NBA and the WNBA. At age 34, she was the second overall pick in the 1997 WNBA Draft. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Her daughter, Imani McGee-Stafford, a first-round pick in the WNBA, is currently pursuing a law degree.