Commentary: No Place on Network TV for Real Basketball Moms of Kentucky

Six mothers use their hoops obsession to guide their sons down a road to nowhere.

Posted: 12/18/2013 01:26 PM EST

OK, are y’all ready for this? The Real Basketball Moms of Kentucky.

The reality show hasn’t been penciled into a network’s schedule for next season, but if you believe — and I do — an article published last week in The New York Times, stay tuned.

Michelle Green, Carmelita Clay, Susie Walker-Byrd and three other moms in Louisville, Kentucky, are willing to sell their souls to Satan to get their hoops-playing sons national exposure.

Apparently the six moms are highly “enthusiastic.” I didn’t realize what that meant until I watched the accompanying video.

For enthusiastic might not be a strong enough adjective. Try obsessed instead, because that’s what these six moms are. No matter that not a single one of the six sons is a blue-chip prospect; no matter that none of the sons is pushing as hard as their moms; no matter that the six women are the proverbial soccer mom gone delusional.

I hope not a single TV network picks up this craziness, although I understand that, in this digital world, craziness, nudity and profanity draw plenty of viewer interest and fat ratings.

For a long time, I’ve applauded involved parents. All the statistical evidence tells me children from homes where the parents are involved are more grounded than those children who come from homes where the parents are disinterested in what their child does.

But does involved parenting translate into must-see TV? Is pushing a boy to chase basketball, despite the odds of it paying big dividends, a misguided strategy for parenting?

When I read the story, I wanted to laugh — I did laugh, actually. What were these moms thinking? I said to myself.

That’s where the problem lies: These moms weren’t thinking, which is the reason I stopped laughing.

It is a mistake for a parent to look at her child as a commodity — as a product to sell and advertise like a GEICO insurance policy. For nothing is assured about making a livelihood as a basketball player. Nor are there any promises that a boy will even be good enough to earn a scholarship.

I mean, do Rick Pitino, Thad Matta and John Calipari want to offer one of these kids a full scholarship and then have to deal with his hard-driving mom?

Sports tend to lead people to peculiar behavior, and banking a life on what a sport might bring you can be to chase foolishness. But chasing foolishness is what the six basketball moms in the Bluegrass State are doing. Are they really doing this for their sons or for themselves?

Yet as I weigh all of this craziness, something more troublesome comes to mind: Where are the sane voices of real men to lend wisdom to their sons and to keep these obsessed moms from ruining their boys forever?

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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