Everybody and their momma has a podcast nowadays, saturating the market. But nine basketball moms from the Detroit area have started one that is like nothing you have ever heard before.
The podcast is called “Through The Nets” and is purposed to share their experiences as mothers, coaching their children through the process of life and providing insight as to how they get them through the trial and error process of playing basketball and other sports.
The nine mothers are, LaKita Gantz, Carol “Bay” Bush, Lauren Bailey, Sonya Waters-Thomas, Heather Ragan, Terri Johnson, Psantia “Bopper” Andrews, Kenya “Sunshine” Hill, and Tiffany Fuller, and they each have teenage sons playing basketball around the Detroit area. They all met through basketball, with many of their sons playing on the same team, and have built a strong bond themselves away from the court.
“In December, one of the other moms suggested that we start a podcast,” said Gantz, whose son Robert Davis Jr. is a freshman at UofD Jesuit. “I thought that was a great idea, because I feel that the things we talk about amongst ourselves when we hangout is information that other moms and parents should know. And I thought that it would give us a platform to actually learn more.”
The basketball moms meet once a week to record their podcast, going over an array topics such as choosing the right high school basketball program, dealing with coaches at every level, balancing books and basketball and of course, reclassification.
“Basketball has brought us together, but overall, we’re just moms,” Gantz added. “Our goal is to inform our audience of the lessons that we have learned, are still learning along the way, and to gain more knowledge on how to be better throughout our experience.”
Navigating the world of being a basketball mom may come easy for someone like Gantz, who played and coached basketball at Detroit Cooley and is the current Director of Basketball Operations for Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball or Bailey, whose husband Chuck Bailey played at Detroit King and Michigan. Then there is Hill, whose husband Shawn “Twig” Hill played at Detroit Pershing in the early 1990s and is the current varsity boys head coach. She also had three kids who played for Pershing, not including the two who play now. But for someone like Johnson, who is fairly new to the process, the podcast is not only meant to help others, but herself as well.
“My son has been playing basketball since he was 7-years-old, in elementary, middle school, and AAU,” said Johnson, whose son Jamahl Trice is a sophomore at Warren Lincoln. “But when it was time to go to high school, it became a lot more important to figure things out strategically for my child at that level. I did not play sports, neither did my brother or anyone in my home. So I had to do some investigation and that’s where they came in. I met all the moms during AAU and knowing that they had valuable information, that’s how I got close to them.”
The Through The Nets starting lineup includes a single mom, a mother of nine, college graduates, career women, community volunteers, and everyday working moms. Each has a unique story, but they all have two things in common: their mutual friendship and shared dreams for their sons. Basketball is not just a hobby for these mothers, it’s a way of life that sometimes comes at a high price. Balancing work, home life, sports, and leisure is not easy for them, but they manage their teams and game minutes well.
“I’m very structured, organized, and I use time management,” said Bush, whose son Chansey Willis Jr. is a freshman at Detroit King. “I usually have my weeks planned in advance. I prioritize what needs to be done and I go from there. Over the years, my support system has grown, making it much easier for me. Although it gets overwhelming at times, I’m very blessed and grateful for the continued support that’s shown throughout my village.”
You can listen to the Through The Nets podcast every Sunday at 7 p.m. at anchor.fm/throughthenets. They can also be found on social media at ThroughTheNets. Through three episodes, the ladies have discussed purpose in life, not being a statistic with author Dr. Sabrina Jackson, and academics. Episode four airs Sunday, February 10, with special guest coaches George Ward (King) and LaMonta Stone (River Rouge).