There are some NBA WAGs that are just as famous as their pro-athlete partners, and there are those that are fairly below the radar. This article provides a list of NBA players’ wives and girlfriends that you probably already know. These women are equally – if not even more – famous than their superstar mates. Today, we put a magnifying glass to them both inside and outside of their relationships.
1. Gabrielle Union-Wade
If you don’t know who she is, you must be living under a rock in the deepest nook of the ocean. She’s not just famous for being the ultra-hot, exceptionally pretty wife of (now back to) Miami Heat shooting guard, Dwyane Wade. At 45 years old, she definitely doesn’t look her age. While husband Wade has an impressive slew of awards under his belt, his wife has also made a name for herself in her industry.
Gabrielle’s film career started in the early 90s, where she started out mostly with small roles in TV series’. She finally got her big break when she starred opposite Kirsten Dunst in the 2001 cheerleading movie, Bring It On. This led to her first award for Best Supporting Actress, thus propelling her into the mainstream movie scene. The rest, as they say, is history. To date, she has been nominated almost 50 times across various roles and award shows and of those, she has won 9 awards.
On top of her impressive career in Hollywood, she has also published her own book and is a proud activist and philanthropist. She’s very public and outspoken about her opinions on relevant social issues such as violence against women, survivors of sexual assault, the shooting of Trayvon Martin, and breast cancer awareness. She became a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood’s breast health initiative. She launched, with the help of other actresses, the Women are Watching campaign that is aimed at informing voters on electoral candidates’ stands on women’s issues.
Prior to meeting Dwyane Wade, she wasn’t unfamiliar with dating professional athletes. From 2001 to 2005, she was married to NFL player Chris Howard until their divorce was finalized in 2006. She met Wade in 2009 and they got married in 2014. Though they did split up for a while, they eventually reconciled and Union is now stepmother to Wade’s three children.
2. Ayesha Curry
Ayesha Curry is a supermom if there ever was one. Apart from being the wife of five-time NBA All-Star Stephen Curry, she is also the mother of three breathtakingly gorgeous children – daughters Riley and Ryan, and newborn son, Canon. On top of that, she’s well on her way to becoming a recognized celebrity chef through her published cookbook and her own cooking show on Food Network – all without any professional chef training. Talk about an all-around woman, and at only 29 years old!
She’s so legit that she even has her own website, where you can access her YouTube channel, read some easy recipes and her blog, shop her products, and so much more.
Her relationship with Steph has an almost fairytale feel to it. They first met when they were just 14 and 15, respectively. They knew each other as fellow members of their church youth group, but didn’t immediately start seeing each other. Ayesha assumed they weren’t for each other and she wasn’t allowed to date in high school.
So, Steph waited until they were both out of high school to reconnect with her. He was in college at Davidson in North Carolina, and she was trying to start her acting career in Los Angeles. He was on his way to LA to attend an ESPY ceremony so he decided to look her up on Facebook – how…romantic?
Ayesha tried to avoid dating athletes because of their ‘arrogant’ personalities, but she eventually gave in. She moved back to Charlotte while Steph was in his third year at Davidson. However, he was drafted into the NBA and had to move to Oakland, California soon after. She followed him after some time and he finally proposed in the same spot where they had their first kiss.
They were married at the ages of 22 and 23, and they are still going strong. Ayesha says that they key to maintaining a healthy marriage is to always find and make time just for each other. Read more about this with Business Insider’s look into their fairy-tale romance.
3. Savannah Brinson James
Next up we have another NBA royal couple in now-Lakers superstar LeBron James and wife Savannah. We all know who LeBron is, but who is Savannah?
She’s his high school sweetheart who he married in 2013. She’s also the mother of his three children: LeBron Jr. (or Bronny), Bryce Maximus, and Zhuri Nova. She and LeBron met in hometown Akron, Ohio while they were in high school, though they attended rival schools. He was already well-known as a sensational basketball player and football player; she was a cheerleader and softball player.
According to an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, she had no idea who he was when they met. He saw her at a football and invited her to watch a basketball game. That’s when she realized how popular he was. Their relationship progressed and overcame every obstacle thrown their way over their 16-year partnership. From her early pregnancy in her senior year to their long distance marriage when LeBron signed with Miami – they’ve stayed strong. LeBron rose to stardom early in his career, and she has remained his support system all throughout it. Business Insider provides a look into their marriage here.
She has become a philanthropist and entrepreneur in her own right, too. In 2010, she collaborated with furniture company American Signature and designed basketball-themed furniture for children – a collection they called Home Court by LeBron James. Two years later, she started I PROMise, a prom dress drive that provides dresses for girls who can’t afford them. It also helps them get ready with makeup tips and accessories. Just last year she started Women Of Our Future, a mentoring initiative that started in her own high school alma mater. It’s designed to help and encourage students to continue their education by pairing them with a one-on-one mentor. Finally, she’s the Vice-President of the Lebron James Family Foundation, where they’ve focused on improving the education sector in their hometown, Akron.
It’s pretty amazing, everything that she’s accomplished. LeBron is a great basketball player and a great man – there’s no doubt about that. But behind every great man is an even greater woman, and Savannah is the perfect example of that.
4. Amelia Vega
If you were following Miss Universe back in 2003, then you’ll definitely remember this beauty that bagged the crown. At 18 years old, she was the first – and only – Dominican to win the Miss Universe title.
According to an interview that her husband – Boston Celtics center and 5-time NBA All-Star, Al Horford – had with Latina magazine, they met sometime in 2007 at the Latin Pride Awards in Boston but only started dating 4 years after that. They reconnected at a campaign for children with cancer, for which they were both spokespeople. He says that he knew “pretty quickly” that she was “the right person” for him. They married in 2011 and they’re now the proud parents of a son, Ean, and two daughters, Alia and Ava.
You would expect lots of selfies and bikini pictures from the Instagram account of a former beauty queen, but that’s not the case with Amelia. In fact, she has more family pictures and photos of her children than of herself.
Who is she outside of her husband and children? Well, she definitely grew up with fame in her veins. To start with, the Dominican Institute of Genealogy traces the Vega family ancestry all the way back to William the Conqueror and Spanish monarch, King Alfonso X. Okay, yes that was centuries back and that would make her around the 37th generation from that bloodline, but there it is.
More directly, she is the daughter of former Miss Dominican Republic 1980, Patricia Polanco. She is also the niece-in-law of Juan Luis Guerra, multi-award winning singer, songwriter, composer, and producer. On Amelia’s biography on her personal website, she names her uncle as her musical guide and inspiration, and that she has always considered herself a singer first. She decided to join the beauty pageant circuit to gain exposure and that certainly worked in her favor.
After winning Miss Universe, she first focused on her duties that came with the title. That included traveling to over 40 different countries, advocating HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness for early detection of breast cancer. After passing on the crown to her successor, her career blossomed to include movies, soap operas, television hosting, CoverGirl endorsements, and an entrepreneurial venture with two boutiques in Miami.
Finally, she got back on track to pursuing her passion. In 2011, she released her debut Album “Agua Dulce”. She wanted to show the world that she was not just a beautiful woman who could sing but also a beautiful singer, and she’s done just that.
5. Khloe Kardashian
Now here’s a girl who needs no introduction. Her family name alone speaks volumes enough about her. Seriously, where do we even start with this one?
Khloe and her family were always quite well-known. Her father, Robert Kardashian, was part of the defense team that got O.J Simpson acquitted of all murder charges in 1995. Her mother at that time was married to Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner, 1976 Summer Olympics decathlon winner. They shot to mainstream recognition in 2007, with the leakage of her sister Kim’s sex tape with then-boyfriend Ray J. Soon after the scandal blew up, they began their own reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. They show was highly successful and continues to the present, even earning a few spin-offs in the process. The sisters are also entrepreneurs, with their own clothing boutique, published book, fragrance and makeup lines, and so many other notable ventures.
One of the spinoffs, Khloe and Lamar, followed her and then-husband, NBA Laker-turned-Maverick Lamar Odom, for two seasons. They married in 2009, a month after they met. Their relationship started out well and it looked like she had found her happy ending. Unfortunately, Odom’s incredible NBA career changed when he moved to the Mavericks in 2012. He started to struggle under the pressure of performing well with his new team. In December 2013, Khloe filed for divorce and both parties signed in mid-2015. A few months after, Odom was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel from a near-fatal drug overdose. Khloe rescinded the divorce petition at that time, not for a potential reconciliation like fans had hoped but so that she could make medical decisions on Odom’s behalf. In December 2016, their divorce was finalized.
The tumultuous relationship didn’t tint her perceptions of relationships with pro athletes, though. Before the judge finalized her divorce with Odom, and while he was still in rehab, she began dating Houston Rockets star James Harden, but that didn’t last very long.
Currently, she is dating Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In April 2018, she gave birth to her first and Thompson’s second child, True Thompson. They’re both extremely happy and proud parents, but their internal relationship is anything but smooth-sailing. A few months before she was due, the internet exploded with rumors that Thompson had an “inappropriate encounter” with other women (yep, plural) during the All-Star Weekend. Khloe and Thompson attempted to go about as normal – until the day before she gives birth. Suddenly, videos of him with several different women, dating back to October 2017, surface on the web. Unsurprisingly, Khloe “went absolutely ballistic”.
In the weeks following the cheating allegations, Khloe remained in Ohio and even showed up to an NBA Finals game last June. Though the couple seem to be attempting to repair their relationship, her family has made it very clear that though they fully support Khloe, they are still upset and very unhappy with Thompson. Viewers know that they openly discuss all of their issues on their reality show, and it’s certainly drawn quite the support for Khloe from all of their fans.
Only time will tell whether this’ll turn into another Kardashian curse or if Tristan Thompson will actually come out in one piece.
So now we know just a little bit more about these already-famous women beyond their names and faces. Stick around as we give you the hottest-and-under-the-radar edition of NBA WAGs!
If you’re curious to know more about WAGs in the football world, check out our other article: Top 7 Football Players and their WAGS – World Cup 2018 Edition.