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The real MVPs
Johnnie Phillips, Sports Editor

Undoubtedly, the most important secret ingredient to any successful athlete is the love, support and encouragement of a mother.

With Mother’s Day having passed last weekend, I wanted to highlight the important roles that moms play in developing young athletes and young people in general.

In my opinion, nobody has said it better than Kevin Durant did as he spoke about the role his mother played in his life during his 2013-2014 NBA MVP award acceptance speech.

“When something good happens to me – I don’t know about you guys – but I tend to look back to what brought me here… You waking me up in the middle of the night in the summertime, making me run up the hill… We weren’t supposed to be here. You made us believe. You kept us off the streets. Put clothes on our back, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate… You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”

For those fortunate enough to have been blessed with a mother growing up, these words carry meaning no matter what socio-economic background you come from.

As an athlete, there is constant pressure in all aspects of life on a daily basis.

From competing in your sport, to working hard in the classroom to remain eligible to play, even in just carrying yourself in the community as a representative of yourself and your team, there will always be pressure.

However, what goes on behind the scenes is how athletes become who they are.

Mothers see everything you go through and do everything they can to help you achieve your dreams.

My whole life all I wanted was to play collegiate football.

Seven days a week I spent trying to make my dreams a reality, which meant that my mom also had to take on a seven-day schedule.

She drove me to practices and games, she cooked meals, she helped me get back on track after injuries.

There was nothing she couldn’t do and nothing she wouldn’t do.

At the time, you may not realize that this is the case as adolescence creates a tunnel vision around life where certain things we take for granted almost seem like background noise.

Yet, to your mother, every day is another step closer to the combined goal and she has never taken a single step for granted.

One day is not nearly enough recognition for mothers, so make sure to hug the ones closest to you and tell them you love them.

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms in the community who raise the tremendous athletes in Steele County that give our community the endless excitement and memories that last a lifetime.

We appreciate you!

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