Forget About LaLa, We’ve Got Natosha.
Last post was about Lala Vasquez and her ejection from the arena. The amount of attention given to the incident only seemed to incite Melo haters and give some Mav’s fans an excuse to air their hatred. I wondered (again) why we don’t give the same amount of media coverage to the NBA wives who deserve it? And by deserve it, I mean deserve it based on their good acts…and maybe if we did, might we change the world for the better? I’d much rather read about the ‘real’ difficulties of being the wife of a pro-athlete rather than the inability of a woman to keep her cool because her hubby is a supa-star.
Earlier this month, I conducted an interview with an incredible woman…I waited to post it because I wasn’t sure how to tie it in so-to-speak. And I’m glad I waited, because regardless of LaLa’s behavior, none of us are privy to the stress some NBA wives are under- and oftentimes, behind many of our mighty-mighty fine players, there’s an even mightier fine woman who serves as a foundation of strength and inspiration for her husband.
One such woman is Natosha Dooling, wife of NBA player Keyon Dooling (Nets). The couple has three beautiful daughters, and aside from her duties as a mother and wife, Natosha always makes time for charity work.
Her forthcoming book “My Eyes and Hair” chronicles her life and her husband’s struggles, the heartbreaking loss of a child and the adversities she faced while growing up. She aspires to help under-privileged kids, with a focus on girls aged 7-19, to provide scholarships or assist in their education so they can finish college and become successful.
Natosha also interests me because she isn’t what we envision the ‘typical’ players wife to be. She’s never been escorted out of a game or garnered tabloid headlines due to something she did to blemish her husband’s reputation. In fact, she’s actually enhanced it. Obviously, I’m impressed beyond measure with a woman who can raise three kids, write a book and raise money for charity while encouraging others to do the same. And that’s precisely why I jumped at the chance to interview this amazing woman.
Natosha spoke to me about her childhood and what propelled her to get involved with charity work. “Growing up and seeing a lot of unpleasant things in my grandma and aunt’s neighborhood actually inspired me to help others. I saw a lot of teen pregnancy, teens being picked up by drug dealers from school, young girls getting AIDS and dropping out of school. It was so bad that I just felt I needed to do something about it since I am from that same neighborhood and it could easily have been me.” she told me, “The joy of seeing a change in people’s lives, seeing someone come from a worse situation and making it a great situation is what attracts me to charity work.”
Natosha’s strength of character stems from her mother, who encouraged confidence: “I overcame adversities with my mom’s strength. No matter what was going on or what other people would say about me, she always gave me confidence and always told me every day how pretty I was,” she said, “She always encouraged me to make sure I get a man to treat me right. She is always so proud of me. She just gave me so much confidence and that helped.”
Aside from family, Natosha has drawn inspiration from others who’ve touched her life. “My first grade teacher, Mrs. Logan inspired me as a child. I wouldn’t have gotten through 1st grade without her. She was my inspiration and she made sure I stayed on my tasks…My cousin, Kathey Lacount, gave me hope,” she continued, ”Besides my mom, I could always go to her for anything. She took care of me and was there for me way before the money and to this day, she still has never ask me for anything.”
Her forthcoming book “My Eyes and Hair” was partially inspired by the difficulties in her life and the negativity she endured simply for being ‘an NBA wife’: “My book is about my life how it started and what I have been through and how tough it is to be an NBA player’s wife, how good God is to my family and I, as well as my relationships with friends and family. I was inspired to write it because one day I was just playing around with the computer and happened to google my name and a web page popped up about NBA players and their wives/girlfriend. I found Keyon’s page and it was filled with woman’s insolent comments and just talking about me rudely. Saying things that were not true and for no reason, so I thought to myself, I should write a book.”
For those who still think the life of an NBA player’s wife is a cakewalk, think again-especially when children are involved. “The most difficult decision I have had to make is to keep having to move my kids every 3 years. Part of me just wants to give up, say forget it and just live in Florida, let Keyon travel and I’ll see him on holidays. But my kids are still young and they need their dad right now so that’s very difficult for me.”
But what’s not difficult for Natosha, is earning the love, trust and admiration of her mighty-mighty-fine husband. “My wife inspires me in many ways- spiritually, emotionally and mentally- everyday watching her inspires me to want to do better as a husband and a father,” Keyon told me.
And this, my friends, is the kind of piece I personally would like to read more of…Inspirational woman who enhance this lives of those around them and not those who get into silly courtside arguments. I know there are many more NBA wives out there doing good…so hit me up if you prefer love over hatred, because after all, you contribute greatly to your mans success.
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com