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Happy Mother's Day to a woman who raised basketball stars

G was born in Sayre, got a master’s degree and went into teaching. She quit teaching to raise her boys, homeschooling them for most of their youth.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 10, 2014

Her boys tell G she doesn’t have to work so hard. She can relax now. Take it easy. Travel. Visit them.

But when you’ve worked hard and maintained a tight ship, when you’ve helped run a business and kept your family straight, educated your kids and other people’s kids, started a new career in financial advising, well, some people just aren’t built to take it easy. So G and her husband haven’t slowed down.

“When you do something one way for so long, and you’re used to working hard, it’s hard to stop all of a sudden,” said one of G’s boys.

G was born out in Sayre. They grow hard workers out in Western Oklahoma. She had only one brother, so when her boys came along years later, G wasn’t sure about all the rough-housing and horseplay. “I don’t think she understood two brothers were going to butt heads,” said one of the boys. “Times where we didn’t get along without ending in a fight. As time went on, she realized, that was part of having boys.”

G wasn’t much into sports. She danced some and modeled some. Received an education degree and then a master’s. While teaching, G became a cheerleader sponsor. She eventually drew the eye of young coach involved with football and basketball, so she started learning a little. They eventually married — he’s the one who calls her G — and started a family.

At ballgames, G was pretty quiet in the crowd, though as she learned more about sports, she’s started to speak up a little more, as often as not she’s talking to herself when telling the ballplayers what to do and the referees what to call. Sports were fun and sports were important, but priorities were well-established.

“She’s pretty incredible,” said one of the boys. “She’s definitely paved the way for us to do our thing. We consider our parents blessings. Paved the way for our work ethic. A living example of how to work hard. Growing up, living off a single teacher’s salary, she was very frugal with our money and taking care of us, making sure everything was budgeted correctly.”

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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