Wizards' JaVale McGee has famous WNBA mom

Sun, Oct 24

Few NBA players turn to their moms for advice about improving their presence in the paint.

Then again, Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee's mom Pam isn't like most mothers.

"It's a great feeling because you've got somebody who always knows what she's talking about," he said. "You've gotta take advantage about what she's talking about."

Pam McGee won two national titles at USC and an Olympic gold medal during her playing days. She played professionally in Brazil, Italy and Spain. She was also a first-round pick in the WNBA 10 years before her son made it to the NBA.

Since JaVale entered the league, Pam says she's recognized more often for being his mother than for her own accomplishments.

So did the first son of a WNBA player to reach the big stage inherit any of his mom's game?

"I see a lot of my athleticism," she said. "Him blocking shots, being able to run the floor, you don't see a center with his type of mobility and that's the kind of player I was."

His father, George Montgomery, was also a basketball player. He played at Illinois and was a second-round pick by Portland in the 1985 draft, though he never played professionally.

Now in his third season, JaVale is establishing a place for himself in coach Flip Saunders' rotation. The 7-foot-1 center averaged 6.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game through his first two seasons and figures to have a more active role for the Wizards this year.

And while he'd play one on one against his mom growing up, the two haven't played in years. But it's not because Pam is hurt or out of shape.

"I know if he beats me," she said, "I'll never be able to live it down so I just don't play him anymore!"