NBA Wives Take Over Atlanta!
“Behind The Bench” the National Basketball Wives Association recently held their annual conference in the city of Atlanta. Amazing can’t even begin to describe this event. Kristina Ratliff and Dee Dee Abdur-Rahim were co-chairs, along with our President Sandra Evans Short, in planning this awesome weekend filled with fun, love, and most of all sisterhood. After 18 years of my hubby playing in the league, this is surprisingly my first conference and first year as a member. So this experience was totally new for me. But I had the best time and bonded with some of the sweetest, most down-to-earth women you could ever meet. That’s me in the green.
The trendy W Hotel in Buckhead welcomed everyone on Thursday for check-in and registration. Upon registration, all members and guests received fabulous gift bags from our sponsors including Miss Jessies, OPI, and 31:ten Apparel by yours truly! Thursday evening we loaded up on a charter bus (yes, we were deep) to the residence of Theo and Kristina Ratliff for an unforgettable night of pampering. Delicious food, signature cocktails, manicures, massages, shopping, makeup, and professional head shots by celebrity photographer Robert Ector, were all included in this luxurious evening.
Friday was an extremely busy, yet fulfilling day. We started off the morning with community service at Hughes Spalding Children’s Hospital, a beautiful facility located in the heart of the city. We came armed with Barbies and books and had an awesome time making crafts with the kids, participating in staff appreciation, and filling snack bags for the families.
That afternoon we listened to a powerful line-up of motivational speakers including our very own BTB sister Audrey Griffin, NFL wife and philanthropist Chanita Foster, and Marshawn Evans from “THE APPRENTICE.”
Next stop on our itinerary was back to the hotel for “Sister Circle.” An annual BTB tradition, Sister Circle was a much needed time of bonding, ministering to one another, and sharing each other’s stories, testimonies, life lessons, and so much more. Facilitated by our very own CleRenda McGrady, wife of Tracy McGrady, Sister Circle definitely allowed us to grow deeper into a true sisterhood.
Later that evening we dined at Aja, a swanky Asian restaurant in the heart of Buckhead. Fun times indeed!
Saturday was another incredible day that began with our luncheon honoring “Women In Philanthropy.” Honorees included Atlanta’s own Monica Kaufman Pearson, Marjorie Harvey, wife of Steve Harvey, Rev. Dr. Bernice King, and our Behind The Bench sister, Tracy Mourning. These four women have done incredible things in the community and it was truly an honor and inspiration to hear their stories. Not that I’m biased to BTB members, but when Tracy Mourning spoke, it was hard to find a dry eye in the house! We were also treated to an anointed performance by gospel saxophonist Angela Christie.
And what’s a girl’s weekend without shopping?!? Following the luncheon, we headed over to Fabrik in Buckhead for a “Sip and Shop.” We were treated to champagne and cupcakes (great combo) and they even graciously donated 20% of what we spent to Behind the Bench! For our final night on the town, Frank Ski’s Restaurant was the perfect spot. With great food, music, and atmosphere, good times were had by all. After dinner, we headed over to…..never mind, you had to be there.
The ladies who were still left in town the next morning worshipped together at Ebenezer Baptist Church followed by a tour of the King Center!
From beginning to end, the conference was fabulous! I came in not knowing exactly what to expect. But I left with new friends, lasting memories, and a true sense of sisterhood. I can honestly say I love all my BTB sisters! I can’t wait to see everyone next year. My only regret is not joining sooner.