NBA Wife Spotlight: Natosha Dooling
Natosha Dooling is truly a force to be reckoned with. Wife of Milwaukee Bucks point gaurd, Keyon Dooling, Natosha is dispelling myths and shattering stereotypes of ”baller’s wives!”
Find out how this author, philanthropist, and CEO, successfully wears her many hats, how she overcame childhood bullying, and what she’s doing to empower young women!
MirraMirror: Let’s start off with a little background information. Where did you grow up?
Natosha Dooling: South Florida
MM: Where did you go to college?
ND: I went to Tallahasse Community College. Then, I went to El Camino College because that’s where my husband got drafted. Then, I decided to go on to esthetician school at the Florida College of Natural Health, and that’s where I graduated from.
MM: How long have you and Keyon been married?
ND: We’ve been together since we were 15 and we’ve been married for…it will be 10 years in July!
MM: How many kids do you have?
ND: Four…Three girls and one boy…we just had our son in ’09. I lost one before we had our son and it was tough….Deneal, my oldest, is 10. She’s into acting, so we’re getting her situated with that. Gabrielle is 7…she’s a straight A student. Jordan is 4, and she’s not in school yet. And Keyon, Jr. is 19 months.
ND: Yes, well, it’s about my daily endeavors I went through growing up, living in the hood. I had two brothers who were in and out of jail. And, growing up I had light eyes, light skin, light hair… and that was a problem in itself…looking different from everybody else. That was hard because at school I was picked on and basically bullied. But my mom always encouraged me and always told me how beautiful I was. That inspired me to write the book so if anybody else was going through what I went through, they would know how to overcome it. I also talk about being an NBA wife…not about all the stuff I buy. I just talked about what’s real… My kids having to change different schools, meeting friends and having to leave them. I talked about some good things too..my walk with Christ. And, how I grew up…all the hard times I went through and the good times. It’s an awesome book! It’s a quick read too, you can get through it in a week!… I went back home to my old high school and spoke to some girls and the next day, I received so many emails telling me how I helped them with my speech…they almost had me in tears! I’m glad I wrote the book, I’m glad I’m doing what I’m doing! I think God put me in that situation growing up with all the trials and tribulations I went through to get me to this point where I’m at today.
MM: Tell us about your charity, N-Zone!
ND: Yes! we actually have an event coming up July 23rd! We have a retreat for girls (ages 6-19). We teach hygiene, how to carry themselves, etiquette, we have STD classes..we’re even going to have an AIDS speaker come out and speak to the girls. We just have a ball with them! They have lunch, snacks…we give gift bags. We just teach them how to be a lady, and they love it! This is only the second year, and we’re just trying to grow and get more people to donate. Eventually, I would like to be able to take the girls on trips and do big things for them…but you gotta crawl before you walk! But right now, we give away scholarships to the girls…clothes, shoes, whatever we can give them and whatever people can give us!
MM: Let’s talk about you being CEO of your new online magazine, Sportsality.com. What prompted you to start the magazine?
ND: Well, just things that my husband went through being an NBA player…like with us losing the baby. We lost the baby, and the next day, he had to go play! Players don’t always play well when they’re going through something. So, I just thought people should know the real reality of these guys, and things that they go through…Not just what they see on the court, or on the field, or in the boxing ring…what they do with their wives and their kids…My husband changes diapers and drops the kids off at school. We have regular lives just like everybody else.
MM: What types of articles and features can we expect to find on Sportsality.com?
ND: NBA wives, of course, the players, we actually have the player’s moms on the website. The NBA moms actually get with the NFL moms every summer… last year they played basketball against each other, and this year they played football against each other…so we covered that. Anything related to sports – we cover it! We covered the Manny Pacquiao event…We have NBA couples, athlete’s wives who are doing things with their charities or have their own businesses…everything like that! That’s what you’ll find on Sportsality…the real reality of athletes!
ND: Communication!..That’s the key! And space…you gotta have some kind of space! Me and my husband, both do our own thing and I think that’s what makes our marriage work. Space, good communication, and we love the Lord…that’s what makes our relationship work for us.
MM: How would you describe Keyon as a husband and father?
ND: You know what…I’m the disciplinarian! (laughs) I do all the discipline with the kids! He’s a great father, a great husband…my husband knows the Lord, like I said. If you got Jesus in your life, I think everything else will work out on it’s own! He’s an awesome father. He takes time out with his kids. We still date each other…He’s an awesome husband and father!
MM: What do you feel is the biggest misconception about the wives of professional athletes?
ND: I think people think we shop a lot. I think people think we take nannies everywhere! (laughs) I think people think that we just go out to dinner all the time and just drink wine…none of my NBA wife friends are like that…and even the NFL wives that I’m friends with..none of them are like that. I think those are the things that people think about us that are dead wrong! I like going to Target, and taking my kids to school, and putting on flip-flops, sweat pants, and no makeup…that’s my day! I like watching movies and eating popcorn with my kids…that’s what I like to do!
ND: Christian Louboutin, of course! I love shoes!
MM: Favorite clothing designer?
ND: I wear a lot of jeans and blazers, so I like True Religion and J Brand.
MM: Favorite handbags?
ND: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga
MM: Favorite boutique in Milwaukee?
MM: Favorite NBA City?
ND: Los Angeles…we spent our first four years there with the Clippers and I just love it out there! The weather, the shopping…I just love it!
MM: Favorite restaurant in Milwaukee?
ND: A restaurant called One…my husband’s friend owns it! The food is awesome!
MM: Favorite vacation spot?
ND: Oh, the Bahamas! We go every summer! We go to Atlantis and stay at the Reef . We’re actually renewing our vows this summer!
MM: Well, Natosha is there anything else you’d like to add or final words to say?