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Stop what you’re doing and read Sports Illustrated’s profile of Bam Adebayo and his mother

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We’ve been saying it for weeks: for Kentucky to be the legitimate national championship threat we all know they can be, they must get the ball to Bam Adebayo. This morning, Sports Illustrated’s Brian Hamilton profiled Bam’s journey from a single-wide trailer in North Carolina to college basketball’s biggest stage. While a lot of the feature details Bam’s improvement this season, the part that resonated with me the most was the look into his bond with his mother, Marilyn, who moved the family from the rough streets of Newark, New Jersey to “the backwoods of somewhere” North Carolina when he was seven because she wanted to give him a better life.

He was seven, he says, when Marilyn decided to flee. “She was like, I can’t have my son grow up in this,” Adebayo recalls. (Marilyn declined to be interviewed for this story. Bam’s father, John Adebayo, remained in New Jersey and didn’t play an active role in his upbringing.) They left for Marilyn’s native North Carolina, staying with her sister until she could get on her feet. She secured both the cashier’s job at the Acre Station Meat Farm and the green trailer on Church Lane and that is where a new life began. Adebayo remembers wondering at the quiet and all the trees. Best of all, he could stay outside after dark.

He knew his mom worked hard, making the short quarter-mile walk to the meat farm every day whether it was raining or snowing or sweltering outside. He could tell when she was tired, but he didn’t say anything. He thought he had everything and it never occurred to him to feel otherwise. “She fought for us,” Adebayo says. “She made it happen. She made it work. . . . Growing up in a trailer, you think everything you get is good. I always thought it was a gift from God, because some people are out here struggling and on the street. We had warmth. We had clothes. We had a roof over our head.”

I’m a sucker for stories like this and Hamilton does a nice job with it. He even gives us another gem about Bam, who we learned in the preseason loves Katy Perry: sometimes, to mellow out before games, he listens to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” 

As if we need another reason to love him, right?

[Bam’s Beginnings: From humble origins, Adebayo has grown into a star]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

10 Comments for Stop what you’re doing and read Sports Illustrated’s profile of Bam Adebayo and his mother



  1. satcheluk
    10:54 am January 26, 2017 Permalink

    Get him the ball until someone stops him. Then teams will double team him and we’ve got spot up threes a rainin’.



  2. Jud
    11:03 am January 26, 2017 Permalink

    Thank you Lord Jesus



  3. Luether
    12:24 pm January 26, 2017 Permalink

    Seems Bam is a bit of a snowflake…



  4. RealCatsFan
    1:37 pm January 26, 2017 Permalink

    In another year or so, Bam’s mother won’t be living in that green trailer anymore. 🙂



  5. ukblue22
    1:38 pm January 26, 2017 Permalink

    Wow! That’s a kid on the right track.

  6. Nice! Shame on his dad for not being in his life, but Bam sounds like a good guy, as is usually the case with Cal’s players.