Since Kevin Durant first arrived in Oklahoma City in 2008, NBA fans throughout Oklahoma became accustomed to seeing the woman who is arguably his No. 1 fan — his mother.
Wanda Pratt, affectionately known as “Mama Durant,” could be seen courtside cheering for her baby boy at most Oklahoma City Thunder games.
Fans became quite familiar with Pratt, who rooted for KD and the Thunder with enthusiasm. Some probably noted that her hair was always perfectly coiffed and she liked to dress fashionably in her trademark sky-high heels.
Her son, the All-Star forward, tugged on fans’ heartstrings each time he made a beeline for his mom to exchange a hug or kiss with her after the games.
Then about a year ago, Pratt seemed to disappear.
Where once she was at almost every regular-season game, the NBA mom became hard to find. One could almost hear the R&B soul group the Chi-Lites cooing their 1970s hit: “Have you seen her? Tell me, have you seen her?”
The question on fans’ lips was, “Where’s Mama?”
Pratt answered that question at an interfaith luncheon on Good Friday in Oklahoma City. She told The Oklahoman that she didn’t mind sharing her story with others — a positive story about a woman making the transition from mother of two young boys to mom of two grown men.
This was before the playoffs and before her talented son was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in a heartwarming, emotional ceremony in the metro area.
This was before the new NBA MVP, tears streaming down his face, described his mama as the “real MVP.”
Before all of that, Pratt shared her heart with an audience of about 40 people gathered for an Institute of the Southwest luncheon in Oklahoma City.
Pratt told the group that her own journey of self-discovery had kept her away from many of her son’s games over the past year.
It was a journey that was both freeing and gratifying, she said.
Thing is, she said it wasn’t her idea at first — it was her sons’.
Pratt said Durant and his older brother, Anthony Durant, told her more than once that she needed to travel, do her own thing.
In short, Pratt said her sons wanted her to enjoy her life as the mother of successful adults — and Pratt said that’s just what she did.
So that’s where she’s been, she got a life.
She said it was an amazing process, but it started out a little rocky.
Finding her way
Pratt said her sons were pretty adamant that she do as many parents of adult children do when their adult children have successfully become independent:
Get a good night’s sleep.
See the world.
Do whatever it is that brings happiness and fulfillment.
“They came to me and said ‘Mom, we just want you to enjoy our life,’” she said.
She said she looked back on this time and realized that her grown sons had an excellent point, but she couldn’t help feeling sad.
“For them, it was a really a good thing, but for me, it was hard because I was so used to being hands-on with them and it was just different when they became young adults,” she said.
Pratt said she called her mom and talked about the difficulty of it all.
“The goals that I have for my sons and the goals that they have for themselves are the same goals, but we have different plans in meeting those goals,” she said.
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If you go
•What: “How to Raise a Champion On and Off the Court” featuring Wanda Pratt
•When: 11 a.m. Sunday
•Where: OKC Faith Church, 800 S Portland Ave.
•Information: Find more details online at www.okcfaith.com and www.MamaDurant.com.