For Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, NBA star who recently signed with the New York Knicks, watching the movie The Lion King is his way of staying connected to the father he lost as a result of gun violence before his third birthday. Today we welcome Michael’s mom, Cynthia Kidd-Gilchrist Richardson who talks about how this loss has shaped Michael’s life and shares with us the highs and lows of watching her son make it to the NBA.
From the time he was 5 years old, basketball was Michael’s passion. As a mom, it never crossed her mind where this would lead. Very quickly, it became clear that he was destined for greatness, with scouts watching him at age 7.
Playing for St. Patrick’s during his high school years paved the way for the future for Michael.
Cynthia talks about how she managed the onslaught of colleges vying for his talent, the lead up to the draft where he was chosen 2nd overall and what it was like to play for Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats.
We hear how hard it is for her to actually watch a game that Michael is playing in, especially when the stakes are high and what it took for her to realize she’s “just his mom”, the role she is most comfortable with, bearing witness to the life of an NBA player, the injuries, the mental game versus the physical game, the power of faith, debunking some of the myths that surround the glamour of professional sports, and how Michael, quietly without fanfare, gives back to his community.