Oprah Winfrey is coming for BET and any other Black network that wants to be relevant. Her OWN network has already signed another Tyler Perry series based on the upcoming movie Single Mom’s Club and now she’s got a reality show sure to please fans of Basketball Wives and The Game. Former WNBA player Pamela McGhee and her son JaVale McGhee, who plays for the Denver Nuggets, are the subject of the new OWN reality show Mom’s Got Game, which premieres on Saturday, January 18th.
“It’s real TV. He is actually my son and he actually plays in the NBA,” McGhee told The Tom Joyner Morning Show. “I’m not his momager, I’m his business manager. I’ve been in the game, played the game, won so many championships, been a professional athlete so I have insight and relationships most mothers don’t have.”
McGhee, a native of Flint, Michigan, who played overseas and with the Los Angeles Sparks and the Sacramento Monarchs in the WNBA as well as winning a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics, says she and her son have been dubbed the real life version of Tasha Mack and Malik on The Game. McGhee says she handles her son’s business affairs, but that’s where it stops.
“I don’t manage his relationships although he would like to manage mine,” laughs McGhee. “We really get into that in the show. I just celebrated my 50th birthday. I’m a WNBA Hall of Famer, and we’re the first WNBA mom to have a son in the NBA. So we’re exploring all those options mothers go through. He’s a grown man now and I’ve got to learn to let him go.”
McGhee’s daughter Imani is also a ballplayer – she’s on a basketball scholarship at Tennessee. But the focus of the show is on McGhee’s relationships with her girlfriends, who have also been professional athletes or in one case, married to an athlete.
“Both of my girls are on the show – Val Steele, still the leading scorer men and women at University of Kentucky. My other girlfriends are Kym Hampton, who played in the WNBA and Monique Payton, who was married to Gary Payton. We’re trophy women, but we’re women with trophies. I’m tired of seeing women out there that think that we always gotta have a man to rescue us to be successful and that you gotta marry a rich man. All my girls are disproving that.”
McGhee says that one thing she’s taught her son is to be grateful for what they have. A single mother, she raised both her children by herself.
“I want single mothers to know that my son didn’t just wake up one day and make it to the NBA. There was a lot of work involved. We’re new money. Even though my son just signed a $44 million dollar deal, his grandmother, my mother, cleaned toilets for $1.25 an hour so that all her children could go to college to lay the bridge for him. That’s what I’m so glad that its airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network because she laid the bridge for a strong black woman like me.”
Mom’s Got Game airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Saturday, January 18th at 10 p.m.
Watch the first five minutes of the show below.