Basketball Wives Who Don’t Embarrass Us

Ignore that VHI reality show -- catfighting isn't actually a requirement for being with an NBA player.

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  • Natosha Dooling

    Natosha Dooling

    Married to Milwaukee Bucks point guard Keyon Dooling, Dooling is the founder of a nonprofit that supports disadvantaged young women, the editor-in-chief of an online sports magazine and a published author. Dooling says that she wrote My Eyes & My Hair, My Journey Overcoming Challenges of Daily Endeavors to encourage and motivate every young woman to pursue her dreams, no matter what type of “bully” she may face. Maybe it should be required reading for Basketball Wives cast members.

     Captions by Jenée Desmond-Harris

  • Piper Billups

    Piper Billups

    Billups, who has a degree in marketing, founded the Spread Her Wings Foundation in 2009 to empower disadvantaged sixth- and seventh-grade girls. In an interview with her and husband Chauncey, a point guard for the New York Knicks, she says she doesn’t drink much — just “a glass of wine now and then.” We can only assume this means that she has alternative methods for settling disputes besides tossing glasses of pinot grigio. Impressive!

  • Tamia

    Tamia

    A four-time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, producer, composer and philanthropist (she’s a big supporter of Ronald McDonald House charities), Tamia is married to Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns. She recently confirmed that she’s hard at work on her next album, so it’s unlikely that she’ll have much time on her hands to design any controversial T-shirts commemorating fights with friends.

     

  • Valeisha Butterfield

    Valeisha Butterfield

    Butterfield’s recent marriage to Dahntay Jones of the Indiana Pacers is far from the only thing she has going for her. The daughter of Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, she co-founded WEEN (Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network) and is now the Obama administration’s deputy director of public affairs for international trade. Formerly the director of Russell Simmons’ hip-hop summit, she broke into the entertainment industry pre-reality TV style: with an unpaid internship. Imagine that.

  • Deborah Williams

    Deborah Williams

    Dr. Williams is the president and CEO of Her Game 2, Inc., an apparel company with an exclusive merchandise-licensing agreement with the NBA. When her husband, Herb Williams, was still in the league, she founded Behind the Bench (also known as the National Basketball Wives Association), and she’s been called one of the 25 most influential African-American women in business. Williams also has a doctorate in clinical psychology. If she were ever to take a break from the business world to try out reality TV, she just might be too busy diagnosing her co-stars to get into the action.

  • Monica

    Monica

    Married to Lakers star Shannon Brown, Monica seems to limit the drama in her life to the lyrics of her popular R&B songs. With a career spanning more than 15 years, she’s sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and has topped Billboard’s R&B hip-hop charts since the 1990s. Definitely anything but a nonmotherf—ing factor.

  • Tracy Mourning

    Tracy Mourning

    Alonzo Mourning is retired from the NBA, but his wife Tracy’s game hasn’t slowed down. She’s a designer, broadcast journalist and motivational speaker, and she runs the Honey Shine mentoring program for at-risk girls. The couple also operates Zo’s Fund for Life, which was created after Alonzo was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease. Something tells us that turning polo matches into screaming matches isn’t high on her list of priorities.

  • Gabrielle Union

    Gabrielle Union

    She’s not technically a wife, but neither are most of the women on the show. It’s hard to say who’s more of a household name — Union or boyfriend Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. Besides being a successful actress, this star has a degree in sociology and has lent her voice to support Planned Parenthood and breast-cancer advocacy and education. She has also been an outspoken advocate against domestic violence and sexual assault. Now, that’s what we call confrontation.

  • Ione Jamison

    Ione Jamison

    The wife of Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Antawn Jamison, Jamison received her master’s in education from Spelman College. So, we’re thinking she knows at least a little something about the concept of sisterhood. Perhaps she could create a lesson plan or two for the show’s cast?

  • Charisse Jackson-Jordan

    Charisse Jackson-Jordan

    Jackson-Jordan’s husband, Eddie Jordan, coached the Washington Wizards from 2003 through 2008. Besides having had careers as a teacher and in the pharmaceutical industry, she has served as president of the National Basketball Wives Association, leading the group’s efforts to raise money for charity. “I think this is what I’m supposed to be doing in life,” she said of her philanthropic work. Does that mean no lip-gloss line?