JOANNE JONES

 

Joanne Jones, is committed to family and community, evident through the activities she supports but her role as National Communications Director of The Mothers of Professional Basketball Players. Founded in 1994, the organization was developed to reach out to professional basketball players in time of need. She is mother of Dahntay Jones, Guard with the Cleveland Cavaliers, 2016 Champions of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and a proud grandmother. Best and worst decision? “The best: deciding to be the best parent I could; I had my son when 19. He forced me to grow up and made me a better person. The worst decision: never obtained my bachelor’s degree. My focus was making sure he was successful. I had an associate’s degree in data processing; since I had to work, I valued more the time spent with my son and now the grandkids.” Dream job as a child? “I thought I was either going to be a model or a pediatrician because I like helping children.” Barriers to female leadership? “The stereotype that men can do it better; that we can’t do, when in fact we can. Women have proven we are equal if not better. We bring value to everything we do, and are good leaders because we can multitask. We are nurturers and influencers…very talented.” Who inspires you? “In the media — Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelo would come close — but it was my mother, (the late Eugenia Moore), who was one of the most caring and giving person. She raised me and my sister by herself, took care of my aunt and grandmother. She never complained. She read the Bible, tried to do the right thing, and was amazing. She finished high school even when she was pregnant with me. As teens, we couldn’t beat her in Scrabble because she read the dictionary. She could converse with scholars because she knew every word.” Challenge for next Generation? “You have to be educated to succeed. The younger generation seems immune to working. “Nothing is worth it unless you work for it. You must have good morals, and stop thinking that people owe you anything. Even if you don’t believe in God or have a spiritually base, just stay grounded in what you believe about being a good person. Do the best you can.” Life lessons: “I tried not to be my son’s friend, rather his mother. I let the coaches know this too. I felt if I had a good relationship with my child and the people that interfaced with him, and they knew, they applied more respect. I was involved. The only game I missed was because of surgery. We must ensure the people that we entrust our children to respect us.”

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Eric Nzeribe