Gloria Govan from VH1’s new reality show Basketball Wives is one outspoken woman! She says that the show’s original message was positive and empowering, but was “shocked” and “very disappointed” at the outcome.
Gloria and Matt Barnes of the Orlando Magic are getting married this August and are proud parents to 1 ½ year old twin sons, Isaiah and Carter. The busy mom-of-two opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her show and charity work with Athletes vs Cancer, their upcoming dream wedding in California, and how she manages it all: “Motherhood has made me do a complete 180.”
CBS: Tell us about your show VH1 reality TV show, Basketball Wives.
GG: “When approached by Shaunie O’Neal last year about the idea of a show, I was excited to be apart of what the show was initially supposed to be about. We were told that it was going to represent intelligent, independent women who are trying to step outside of the shadow of there significant others. However, when Matt and I saw the first 5 minutes of the first episode we were shocked. We couldn’t believe what it had turned out to be, I was very disappointed in what we saw and frustrated that the show had taken a complete 180 without our knowledge.”
CBS: You and Orlando Magic star, Matt Barnes, are getting married this August. How are the wedding plans coming along? How many people are invited? Where are you tying the knot?
GG: “Matt would always tell me that he wanted to get married on the beach at sunset, so we chose Santa Barbara at the Bacara Resort and Spa. I started planning the wedding in February. It was very difficult planning a wedding from Orlando that took place in California, I had to rely solely on pictures and people’s opinions. It’s been equally fun and stressful [laughs] I never realized how many details go into the big day, thank goodness for my wedding planner. We started off with 150 people, however once the word started to spread Matt and I quickly realized how many people we were forgetting and now the guest list is at 250.”
CBS: You and Matt have known each other since you were teenagers. What has taken you so long to get married?
GG: “When it comes to doing things traditionally Matt and I have never been supportive participants. We obviously started things off backwards in society’s eyes. We moved in together, then we had kids and now we are tying the knot. Marriage is something that has always been important to both of us, having both come from parents who have been married well over 25 years. Nonetheless, we were both determined not to let society force us into some thing that we wanted to wait to do.
Secondly, being with someone who has constantly been on the move with his career our wedding took a back seat as we figured out where we would be spending the rest of his career at. At this point we have already been engaged for 3 years, and we would like to continue to grow our family and this time we would like to do so as husband and wife.”
CBS: You and Matt are parents to 1 ½-year-old twin boys, Isaiah and Carter. How do you manage to keep up with the boys, your career, your relationship with Matt, etc.?
GG: “It is work, constant work, trying to keep your priorities together. Being a mom, fiancée, and future entrepreneur is very difficult. My mother who has 9 kids once told me, “If you don’t take care of yourself, then how do you expect to take care of others?” I will never forgotten that, so I make sure that I keep myself level headed by putting aside time for myself to relax or read or just eat a whole meal without having to walk away and come back to it. I think it is very important to maintain some type of independence.
With that being said I wouldn’t be able to do that without Matt who is nothing but supportive about my dreams and ambitions, and also my mom who will not hesitate to fly across country to help with the babies. They both are my rock.”
CBS: What is your best advice to parents of twins?
GG: “My best advice to mothers of twins is: Be glad that you get to do everything once. Having twins is a blessing, and nothing makes me smile harder than when I see them playing with each other or having one of their twin moments. People ask me all the time, ‘How do you deal with 2?’ My answer to them is, ‘What do you do with 1?'”
CBS: How has motherhood changed you?
GG: “Motherhood has made me do a complete 180. It is amazing how quickly you love someone you just met met and barely even know. All of the sudden you have these lives who are relying of you for everything, they are your responsibility from sun up to sun down. It makes you grow up and realize how precious life is.”
CBS: Do you ever have frazzled mom moments?
GG: “I have frazzled mom moments every day [laughs]. Having gone from no kids to 2, is a major change! A change like that is a hard adjustment sometimes, especially when you just want to go to the grocery store or bank by yourself. All the sudden you have this little innocent person attached to you, and it’s not their fault by sometimes you wonder what it would be like if you were single again. But then they smile at you or repeat something that you taught them, and its all worth it again.”
CBS: Do you hope your boys will also play basketball?
GG: “I just want the boys the be healthy. We will definitely introduce them to basketball and sports in general but if they don’t care for that fine too.”
CBS: How do you deal with the basketball groupies? Do you ever get jealous or paranoid?
GG: “When Matt and I started to hang out I was in my last semester in college and he was playing for the Golden State Warriors. Neither of us knew where the relationship was headed so we kept it slow in the beginning. I cant say I was jealous, but more curious. Now unfortunately with Matt’s moms’ passing, [he] realizes the importance of family and how no one is promised tomorrow. I’m not paranoid when Matt is on the road traveling during the season, I know we wouldn’t jeopardize this family for a one night stand with some girl.”
CBS: Why do you think so many professional athletes have cheated on their wives?
GG: “I think society makes it okay for men to cheat on their wives and get away with it. Especially those in the public eye, who are given a slap on the wrist in interviews and are set on their merry way. Women, however, have to bear the scarlet letter, and would be called nasty names across the board. It’s unfortunate that some of these men are even looked at as heroes. On the other hand, you have these women who are okay with being the ‘other girl’ and ‘groupie’ allowing these men the have their cake and eat it too.”
CBS: Tell us about your charity work with Athletes vs Cancer.
GG: “Matt’s mother Anne Barnes passed away from cancer almost 3 years ago. She was diagnosed with stage four cancer November 1st and passed away November 27th. Our foundation Athletes vs Cancer is about encouraging and influencing other athletes to use their positive influence to help those less fortunate. We want to stand for something, we want to stand for change. Our goal is to one day find a cure so that no one will ever have to go through what Matt and so many others have gone through.”
CBS: You also work with at-risk women. Please tell us about that.
GG: “I strongly feel that young women have lost respect for themselves and what they are worth. Girls as young as 12 are losing their virginity and having babies. I want to help teach them the value of self respect and dignity. I want to encourage them to practice safe sex or better yet stay abstinent. I want them to know that power is not what your have in your pants but what you know in your mind. Education, encouragement, and empowering these women. Kids are our tomorrow and they are priceless and they should know that.
Soon I am hoping to start a foundation of my own, to help young women who have had babies in unfortunate circumstances help provide them with a second chance to education and a better living for both themselves and the baby.”
CBS: If you are working on any other projects, please feel free to discuss.
GG: “I have worked on a baby crib mattress for the last 4 years. It was recently patented, and is in the process of talking to major companies like Babies ‘R Us in hopes that it will soon be sold in stores across the country and eventually worldwide. I know most people especially in my position start clothing lines or shoe stores but that is not my passion. My passion are my kids and anything to help better their safety and lives all the while allowing me to get a good nights sleep is what its about.”