NBA Wife Spotlight: Audrey Griffin
Beauty…check. Style…check. Intelligence…check. Happily married, beautiful children, successful career…3 checks! Yes, Audrey Griffin is one of those women that makes you ask, “how does she do it all?” Well, she’ll quickly tell you, with God, nothing is impossible! The wife of Adrian Griffin, former NBA player and current assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls, Audrey is as sweet and down- to- earth as they come, with a smile and personality that can light up the darkest room. As an author, motivational speaker, and recently ordained minister, Audrey is passionate about helping women find balance, purpose, and prosperity!
Audrey Griffin: Hollis, Queens NY
MM: What is your educational background?
AG: I have a B.A. in Communications from Seton Hall University and a MAEd from the University of Phoenix.
MM: How did you and Adrian meet?
AG: We met in August 1994 at Seton Hall. I was a Freshman, he was a Junior. We had the same major, but his academic advisor made a mistake and he missed a class his freshman year, so he was in a class with me my first semester. (The only class we ever had together) He would wait for me outside everyday before he would go into class (we would just say hello) and one day I didn’t come and he asked my roommate if I was ok. I was sick and he gave her his phone number to give to me to call him “for the class notes and H.W.” I did call and he dropped the notes to my room and that’s how we began talking. He continued to wait for me outside of class and we passed notes in class and even studied with a tutor. He began inviting me to hang out with him, and I would only go with my roommate in tow because well, I didn’t know him. A few weeks later, he asked me to come to Midnight Madness to see him play…and I did. I was still skeptical about him because he was a basketball player. My brother was a basketball player and I heard the stories he would tell growing up, so it took me a while to give in to really consider dating him. Needless to say, he asked me out on our first date.. and from that point on, well the rest is history.
MM: How long have you been married?
AG: It will be 16 years this September!
MM: How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
AG: I have four beautiful children! Vanessa is 14, Alan (named after Adrian’s Dad) is 11, Aubrey is 10, and Adrian Jr. is 8.
MM: Adrian has enjoyed a pretty long career in the NBA and is now coaching…what has been the most difficult aspect of being the wife of a professional athlete?
AG: The most difficult aspect is dealing with the long road trips, trades as a player, and now long hours in the office as a coach… all while managing a household, at times, alone. It is not easy, but we have managed to create a balance. Sometimes if he has a longer day in the office, I will try and meet him for coffee in the morning, or lunch if he can.
MM: You wear many hats!! Let’s start off with your author “hat.” Tell us about The Day I Took Off My Cape, and what inspired you to write it?
AG: The Day I Took Off My Cape was written from a place of “tired of being sick and tired!” I knew there had to be a method to the madness, and I knew I had to find balance or my life was only going to deteriorate from that point on. So, I literally stopped in my tracks and said, enough was enough with the whole superwoman mentality! Even super heroes need some saving! So in this journey to find balance, I wrote a lot of my experiences and my friends’ experiences down…and my journal became a book what is now titled The Day I Took Off My Cape!
MM: Our husbands both recently attended a workshop on motivational speaking, but you also are in the motivational speaking business. How long have you been speaking, and what subjects do you touch on?
AG: I started speaking about two years ago. I was able to reach women and help them begin to transform their lives so they can live in balance and actually be “superwomen” and not be depleted from it. God has allowed me to talk about my book and reach many audiences talking about His word, and teaching young women how to have successful marriages, families and careers, how to support your husband, be an anchor for him and your children, while still striving to do your purpose here on earth. It is all possible with Him!
MM: You have also served as the Vice President for the NBA Wives Association, Behind the Bench. Can you talk a little bit about that organization and the overall sisterhood that NBA wives share?
AG: The Mission of Behind the Bench is to stay committed to creating and strengthening internal and external alliances in order to impact and empower families by utilizing our network of resources across the country. We focus a lot on families, women and children. We also spend time in communities and raising funds for charities on local and national levels. Our friendships are truly unique bonds because there is nothing like the business of the NBA… and it is a business. There are things that we can only relate to with one another because of the nature of the business… there are certain things that only another fellow NBA wife will understand.
MM: As the wife of an NBA player/coach, it’s no secret that you have been blessed to live a prosperous lifestyle. How have you been able to stay so grounded and down-to-earth over the years?
AG: God and God only! HE has a way of creating checks and balances for you and when you have Him in your life, you know that just as He giveth, He can taketh away. We have always been appreciative especially since we were not drafted (into the league.) My husband was a 25-year-old rookie and I went back and finished college before he signed his first contract. We didn’t have much, but we made it work with keeping God first, love for one another, and knowing God would always work things out for the good… and He did. So with that foundation, there is no way I couldn’t stay grounded because I can’t take the credit, even if I wanted too!
MM: You always look so fit and fabulous! Besides being a former track star, how have you kept your body in such amazing shape after having four kids?
AG: Awww thank you! But there really is no secret, lol… Working out (I love to run and take classes at my gym 2-3 times a week), eating right the majority of the time, and still treating myself to some of my favorite foods, but all in balance of course,.. and that’s it! No fad diets, no pills, just good ol’ fashion working out. I did try becoming a vegetarian… that lasted two months. Sorry.. but I loves me some chicken and an occasional steak!
MM: As we have seen in the media recently, unfortunately, many NBA marriages end in divorce. What is your secret to maintaining a healthy, happy relationship?
AG: God must be the foundation, because His ways are the only way for victory in anything. Both spouses should be excellent at forgiveness, (laughs) communicating with one another in truth and honesty so that your spouse knows who they are dealing with at all times, have similar moral and values, you have to be best friends, and you need two people that really want to be with each other no matter what!
MM: Are you and Adrian involved in any charities?
AG: Yes, I do things with my sorority AKA, Behind the Bench, The Cinderella Project in Milwaukee, here in Chicago with a non-for profit called Swish Dreams, and of course, with the (Chicago) Bulls community. I’m beginning to head up my own charity “Remove Your Cape” which would help provide scholarships for young mothers to return to school, while also giving workshops so they can learn to balance returning to school and having a family. I am working on developing that now, and I hope for it to finally be up and running by this year!
MM: Please tell us about any projects, businesses, etc. that you are currently working on.
AG: Right now I am really focusing on my speaking and reaching today’s youth and young women. I am a newly ordained minister and I plan on spreading God’s word, love, and knowledge to help others know better and do better, and more importantly to help them seek God’s will for their lives so they can prosper. This is my purpose and I am thankful to be able to do it.
MM: How would you describe your personal style and list your top five favorite designers (shoe or clothing.)
AG: I think I have a classic style with a little edge. My favorite designers are Louis Vuitton, YSL, Alice and Olivia, and Diane von Furstenberg.
MM: What was the last handbag you purchased?
AG: A Louis Vuitton Runway purse… I don’t know the name… I just know it is gorgeous!
MM: What are your top 3 beauty products?
AG: Natura Bisse The Cure crème, toner, and mask.
MM: In your opinion, what is your best physical feature? (I already know you have killer legs And would Adrian agree with your choice?
AG: Thanks, I used to love my legs, now I love my eyes! I used to hate that they were so small and the fact that I couldn’t see when I laughed because they would close, but now I love them! Adrian loves… well, everything! He really can’t keep his hands off of me… which I am ok with! (smiling) But, his favorite physical feature that he likes are my hands… he thinks I have beautiful hands… go figure!
MM: What is your most memorable date/vacation with your hubby?
AG: Hands down Turks and Caicos… Every time we have gone somewhere at the end of the vacation we were always ready to return home to our own beds and our kids, but for some reason we did not want to leave this beautiful island! While we were there, we didn’t even go anywhere. Our routine was to eat, sit poolside, then beachside, eat again, and then sleep. That was it, and it was the best!!!
MM: What is your favorite NBA city?
AG: That’s a tough one I have enjoyed many aspects about all of the places we have been. I actually love Chicago… 2nd to NYC and my hometown is hard to compete with. My only hang up with Chicago is that it just gets too darn cold and for too darn long! But outside of Chicago, I would have to say Dallas because it was amazing all around… the fans, the weather, the cost of living was not high, and we had some great times there too.
To learn more about Audrey, purchase her book, and find out details on her MAJOR community initiative project coming forth this Monday, check out RemoveYourCape.com