Mother’s Day Sports Special: 5 Athlete Moms With Athlete Kids

You know about the Mannings, the Earnhardts, the Griffeys, and the Andrettis.

You’re probably familiar with Calvin and Grant Hill and Bobby and Brett Hull.

These are just a few of the great father-son combos we’ve seen at the highest levels of sport.

But sometimes the athletic talents and passions come from the other side of the family.

With Mother’s Day coming up, let’s celebrate the moms who have been successful athletes at the professional or international level and have passed on their gifts and love of sports to their sons and/or daughters.

Here are five mothers from the world of sports whose kids were blessed with mom’s athletic gifts.

* * * * *

Pam and JaVale McGee

We know JaVale McGee for mastering the art of goal-tending, running back on defense while his team is still on offense, and (more recently) for being a very productive post player for a Denver Nuggets team that just pushed the Lakers to a seventh game in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

But whether McGee is missing dunks in spectacular fashion or outplaying Andrew Bynum in the paint in key playoff games, there’s no denying that he has freakish athleticism for a player his size. (McGee is listed at exactly 7 feet.)

He gets it honestly.

Pam McGee assists her son at the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest. (Photo from Getty Images)

JaVale’s mother, Pam, was an All-American basketball player at USC in the early 1980s and played for the gold medal-winning U.S. women’s basketball team at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. After playing professionally overseas for several years, Pam McGee returned to the States, where—at the age of 34—she was the second overall pick in the inaugural 1997 WNBA Draft. She played two seasons with the Sacramento Monarchs and Los Angeles Sparks.

Here are JaVale and Pam in action on Tuesday night:

 

* * * * *

Helga, Dirk, and Silke Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki is an NBA champion, and NBA MVP, an 11-time All-Star and All-NBA selection, and a future hall of famer.

Helga Nowitzki, Dirk’s mother, played professional ball back in the 1960s and was a member of the 1966 West German women’s national team.

Somehow this is the only picture of Dirk Nowitzki's parents that exists on the Internet. His mother Helga was a great basketball player in West Germany in the 1960s. (Photo by Holger R. Sauer.)

Dirk’s dad, Jörg-Werner Nowitzki, was one of Germany’s best team handball players. But the Nowitzki kids favored their mother’s sport.

While Dirk’s accomplishments are well known, his older sister, Silke Nowitzki, was also quite a player. Before Dirk made his professional debut with the DJK Würzburg men’s team, Silke helped the women’s team make the jump into the top tier of German basketball. In 1998 her DJK Würzburg team qualified for the Ronchetti Cup (now known as EuroCup Women). Like her mother, Silke also spent time on the German national team.

Silke moved to the U.S. in 2001 to work for the NBA. Since 2006 she has worked as Dirk’s manager.

Dirk and Silke Nowitzki (Photo from Getty Images)

* * * * *

May Sutton and Dodo Cheney

May Sutton was the first American to win a singles title at Wimbledon. She won at the All England Club in 1905 and again in 1907. In 1904 Sutton swept the U.S. Open, winning the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles.

Twenty-three years after Sutton became the first player from the States to win Wimbledon, her daughter, Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney, became the first American to win the women’s singles championship at the Australian Open. It was Cheney’s only Grand Slam title, but she advanced to the semi-finals of each of the other three Slams at least once and played in seven Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles finals.

Cheney, who is alive and living in California, continued playing competitive tennis into her 90s and has won more than 300 United States Tennis Association senior titles.

1938 Aussie Open champion Dodo Cheney, superimposed over her mother, three-time Grand Slam singles winner May Sutton. (Picture found at TennisForum.com)

* * * * *

Helen Callaghan and Casey Candaele

If you’ve seen A League of Their Own, you know about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), the women’s baseball league founded during World War II when many male ball players were serving in the military. One of the more than 600 women who played in the AAGPBL between 1943 and 1954 also happened to be the mother of a Major Leaguer.

Helen Callaghan played five seasons with the Minnesota Millerettes, the Fort Wayne Daisies, and the Kenosha Comets. She stole 354 bases in 388 AAGPBL games.

Callaghan had five sons, one of whom was Casey Candaele, who played 754 Major League games in nine seasons with the Montreal Expos, Houston Astros, and Cleveland Indians. (I remember Candaele from his days with the Indianapolis Indians, at the time the Expos’ AAA farm team.) For his career Candaele batted .250/.308/.332. His mother hit .257/.359/.319. See? Genetics at work.

Another of Callaghan’s sons, Kelly Candaele, produced the 1987 PBS documentary A League of Their Own about the AAGPBL, which inspired director Penny Marshall to make the 1992 feature film of the same name.

* * * * *

Ann Packer and Ian and David Brightwell

The 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo got off to a rough start for engaged British runners Ann Packer and Robbie Brightwell. Packer had hoped to win the 400 meters, her best event, but had to settle for a silver medal. Brightwell, who also specialized in the 400, failed to medal in the men’s race, finishing fourth. (He ended up winning silver in the 4 x 400 relay.)

But the couple had one more chance at Olympic glory. Packer had also qualified for the 800, a race that she had only run a few times. “Women’s middle-distance running was in its infancy then,” Packer told the Guardian in 2008, “but unwittingly, I was perfectly prepared because I was a sprinter, and there wasn’t that type of athlete in the 800 metres at the time.”

Packer held her own in the prelims and semifinals, but she didn’t finish better than third in either heat. She was able to harness her sprinter’s speed in the final, making up for a slow start by whizzing past her competitors in the second half of the race. Packer not only won gold in the 800, she set a world record.

Lovebirds Ann Packer and Robbie Brightwell at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

Packer, only 22 at the time, retired shortly after the 1964 Games. She and Brightwell married and had three children, two of whom would become professional soccer players.

Ian Brightwell made his professional debut as an 18-year-old with Manchester City in 1986. Ian played twelve seasons as a defender for Man City and another eight with an assortment of other English clubs. Ian’s younger brother David joined him on the Manchester City Roster in 1988. Ian played in 321 games with City, scoring 18 goals. David played only 44 games in seven seasons in Manchester, and another 13 on loan to other teams. He played six more years with a variety of Football League clubs.

The Brightwells helped City earn promotion out of the Second Division and into Football League Division One in 1989. A few years later, Manchester City would become one of the founding members of the Premier League.

*****



About Josh Tinley

Josh Tinley writes the Away From The Action column at Midwest Sports Fans, covering all aspects of sport aside from what actually happens on the field, court, or track. Josh grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from the University of Evansville and Vanderbilt Divinity School. He is the author of Kneeling in the End Zone: Spiritual Lessons From the World of Sports and the managing editor of LinC, a weekly curriculum for teens that explores the intersection of faith and culture. Josh lives outside Nashville with his wife, Ashlee, and children, Meyer (7), Resha Kate (5), and Malachi (3). He will not allow himself to die before the Evansville Purple Aces make another trip to the NCAA Tournament. Follow him on Twitter @joshtinley or send him an e-mail.

Comments

  1. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  2. This information is amazing. I will recommend it to my brother and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  3. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  4. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  5. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  6. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  7. Check out this awesome amazon sellers app- http://goo.gl/KUnTxb

  8. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  9. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  10. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  11. This is nice! Your website is astounding. I will suggest it to my friends and any person that could be enticed by this matter. Great work girls!

  12. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  13. Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin

  14. Both groups lost weight, but no mathematically notable differences were found between the two groups when it comes
    to weight loss and reductions in body fat mass.

  15. The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it
    won’t disappoint me just as much as this one.

    After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I truly believed you’d
    have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch
    of crying about something you could fix if you weren’t too
    busy seeking attention.

  16. Thanks for finally writing about >Mother’s Day Sports Special: 5 Athlete Moms With Athlete Kids <Loved it!

  17. There is certainly a great deal to find out about this issue.
    I love all of the points you made.

  18. Hi there, always i used to check website posts here early in the daylight, as i enjoy to learn more and more.

  19. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you so much, However I am going
    through difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot subscribe
    to it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS problems?
    Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?

    Thanx!!

  20. Currently it appears like Movable Type is the top blogging
    platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is
    that what you are using on your blog?

  21. Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?

  22. This post provides clear idea for the new users of blogging, that really how to do
    blogging.

  23. Whats up very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing ..
    I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally…I am glad to seek out a
    lot of helpful info right here within the put up,
    we want work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing.

  24. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your
    efforts and I am waiting for your next write ups thank you once again.

  25. I’ve learn several excellent stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how much attempt you place to make any such great informative website.

  26. I have read a few good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how so much attempt you place to create this type of
    great informative web site.

  27. hi!,I like your writing so a lot! proportion we keep
    up a correspondence more about your post on AOL? I need an expert
    in this house to solve my problem. May be
    that is you! Taking a look ahead to see you.

  28. I wanted to thank you for this good read!! I definitely loved every bit of it.
    I have you bookmarked to check out new things you post…

  29. I conceive other website owners should take this site as an model, very clean and excellent user genial style and
    design.

  30. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    I’m quite certain I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  31. I have fun with, lead to I found exactly what I was taking a look for.
    You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God
    Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  32. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your site provided us with valuable information to work on.
    You’ve done an impressive job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  33. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be
    on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say
    to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they just
    do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out
    the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.

    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  34. Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  35. I have recently started a site, the info you provide on this web site has helped me tremendously.
    Thanks for all of your time & work.

  36. What’s up everyone, it’s my first go to see at this web page, and post is
    genuinely fruitful in favor of me, keep up posting these
    content.

  37. Thank you so much for giving everyone a very terrific possiblity to read critical reviews from this
    web site. It is always so ideal plus stuffed with a great
    time for me personally and my office friends to search your blog at minimum three times per week to read through the new stuff you have.
    And definitely, I’m at all times satisfied considering
    the staggering tips and hints you give. Selected 2 tips
    in this posting are particularly the finest we have all ever had.

  38. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest
    blogs on the web. I most certainly will recommend this
    website!

  39. Nice weblog here! Also your website loads up fast!
    What host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate link on your host?
    I desire my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  40. Great post, I conceive blog owners should acquire a lot from
    this website its very user pleasant. So much great information on here :
    D.

  41. I relish, lead to I discovered just what I used to be looking for.

    You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day.
    Bye

  42. I’ve been browsing online more than 2 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will
    be a lot more useful than ever before. http://bing.co.uk

  43. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this
    blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem
    on my end or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly
    appreciated.

  44. Excellent read, I just passed this onto
    a colleague who was doing some research on that.
    And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let
    me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  45. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering troubles
    with your RSS. I don?t understand why I am unable to subscribe to
    it. Is there anybody having the same RSS problems?
    Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  46. I enjoy you because of all your valuable work on this website.
    Betty enjoys working on internet research and it’s easy to see why.

    All of us hear all about the dynamic ways you make important tricks by means of this blog and in addition welcome
    contribution from the others about this matter so my daughter is starting
    to learn a whole lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year.

    You are conducting a good job.[X-N-E-W-L-I-N-S-P-I-N-X]I am
    really impressed along with your writing skills and
    also with the structure to your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify
    it yourself? Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it is uncommon to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

  47. Why users still make use of to read news papers when in this technological world the
    whole thing is existing on net?

  48. Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if
    you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for
    my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours
    and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

  49. I am only writing to let you understand what a amazing encounter my cousin’s princess encountered going through
    your blog. She figured out numerous details, most notably
    what it’s like to possess a very effective teaching mindset
    to have other people quite simply learn certain tortuous subject matter.
    You truly did more than readers’ expectations. I appreciate
    you for showing such effective, safe, educational and in addition easy tips about this topic to Tanya.

  50. I am only writing to let you know what a helpful encounter my wife’s princess undergone going through your web site.
    She came to find so many issues, which included what it is
    like to have an awesome helping heart to make many more
    without difficulty know certain complex things.

    You truly surpassed visitors’ expectations. Thanks for imparting such
    powerful, dependable, edifying and easy thoughts on the topic to Tanya.

  51. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic but
    I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

  52. Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and
    i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything
    you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so
    any support is very much appreciated.

  53. This web site really has all the info I needed
    about this subject and didn?t know who to ask.

  54. This site certainly has all the information I needed about this subject and didn?t know who to ask.

  55. This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  56. Maybe you should check out http://www.repairsurge.amazon-certified.com , it has some manuals and stuff

  57. Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at. Seo Plugin

  58. Hi there, You’ve done an incredible job. I’ll
    certainly digg it and individually recommend to my friends.
    I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

  59. I am glad to be a visitor of this utter web site, thanks for this rare info!

  60. I was looking at some of your posts on this site and I believe this web site is real instructive!
    Retain putting up.

  61. There’s certainly a great deal to know about this topic.
    I really like all of the points you made.

  62. I wanted to follow up and allow you to know how , very much I appreciated discovering
    your web blog today. I’d personally consider it
    an honor to work at my workplace and be able to use the tips contributed on your web page and
    also be a part of visitors’ opinions like this. Should a position involving guest publisher become offered at your end, you
    should let me know.

  63. hey there and thank you for your info ? I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here.

    I did however expertise several technical points using this
    web site, as I experienced to reload the website lots of times previous
    to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting
    is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could
    damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
    Well I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of
    your respective exciting content. Make sure you update this again soon.

  64. It’s going to be finish of mine day, however before end I am reading this enormous article
    to increase my experience.

  65. I wanted to check up and let you know how , very much
    I treasured discovering this blog today. I’d personally consider it a good
    honor to work at my business office and be able to operate on the tips contributed on your
    site and also take part in visitors’ responses like this.
    Should a position regarding guest article author become offered at your end, you should let me know.

  66. I was looking at some of your blog posts on this website and I
    conceive this site is rattling instructive! Retain putting up.

  67. Hello to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting
    more from this web page, and your views are pleasant in favor of new viewers.

  68. What’s up Dear, are you really visiting this website regularly, if so afterward you will without doubt obtain fastidious
    experience.

  69. I like this weblog very much so much great information.

  70. Keep up the superb piece of work, I read few content on this
    web site and I conceive that your blog is real interesting and has sets of
    fantastic information.

  71. Great article.

  72. There’s certainly a great deal to find out about this topic.
    I love all the points you made.

  73. This piece of writing is really a nice one it
    helps new web users, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

  74. Hi there, its nice paragraph about media print, we all be aware of media is a great source of facts.

  75. I was looking at some of your content on this internet site and I conceive this site is rattling
    informative! Keep on posting.

  76. Hello Dear, are you actually visiting this website regularly, if so afterward you will without doubt get
    pleasant experience.

  77. I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it.
    I have got you bookmarked to look at new things you post?

  78. I was reading some of your blog posts on this site and I think this website is rattling
    informative! Keep on putting up.

Speak Your Mind