When Damian Lillard signed his first NBA contract in 2012, he struck a $13.8 million deal. The basketball player’s next step was easy. He went straight to his mother and told her she could finally deliver notice of him.
“I’m a millionaire now, so I went to my mom’s job and I was like, ‘Give it up,’” Lillard said. andscapeMarc J. Spears in an interview this week. “I literally went and helped her set her table, everything. “They’re not doing you right. They’ve been up your ass over every little thing. We will not go back. So that was just my initial thought.”
That moment, he said, was “one of the best feelings” he’s ever had. His mother was so unhappy at work. She was suffering from poor health, under a lot of stress and her job security always seemed at risk. The two entered her office together and he helped her tell everyone she was leaving.
“We walked in and everyone was aware that I had just been drafted,” he said. “So they were like, ‘Oh, Ginny, your son…’ Blah, blah. I was like, ‘We stopped! We give up!’”
It was a life-changing moment for her mother. In 2014, she opened NBC Sports about how your child’s financial security has made a big difference. Not only was she able to quit a job that was making her unhappy, but she was also able to get the medical treatment she needed.
“I love the fact that I don’t have to work anymore,” Gina said. “I just take the kids to school and take care of the bills. I love having my whole family together. I am truly a blessed person.”
Lillard continues to show his mother a lot of love, taking to social media this past Mother’s Day to share some sweet words about the woman who raised him.
“There is nothing like a mother’s love. I am grateful to have been raised by the GOAT (@sugagee ) and to be married to someone else!” the basketball star wrote. “Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms here who do the work daily, even when they’re all alone and breaking you! We love and appreciate you. Hope you drown in love and attention today! ❤️🙏🏽🎁♾”
These black mothers who made history were (and are!) paving the way for women everywhere.