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For Mother’s Day, NBA Countdown’s Sage Steele salutes her inspiration

Sage Steele interviews Sonya Curry on NBA Countdown

ABC will air a special Mother’s Day edition of NBA Countdown this Sunday, May 8 (3 p.m. ET). Sage Steele interviews Sonya Curry, the mother of Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry. She discusses her influence on her superstar son, memories of his childhood and how some people have questioned his toughness.

Sage Steele is best known to millions of ESPN viewers as the host ofNBA Countdown. It’s a title that gives her tremendous pride.

However, those close to Sage know that her No. 1 job is being a mom. Her passion for motherhood, (which has been well-displayed in her Disney Babble blogs), stems from her deep connection to her mother, Mona Steele.

In honor of Mother’s Day, she shares family photos and writes this essay for Front Row about the impact her mother has made on her life, career and her own parenting style.

What Mother's Day means to me
By Sage Steele
Eighteen years ago, Mona Steele encouraged her daughter Sage to resist the urge to quit. (Photo courtesy of Sage Steele)
Many years ago, Mona Steele encouraged her daughter Sage to resist the urge to quit her journalism career. (Photo courtesy of Sage Steele)

In the spring of 1998, I actually considered quitting.

As a young, inexperienced sports reporter in Indianapolis, I was in a less-than-ideal situation.

I remember calling home after one particularly rough day to talk to my parents, and even though I never actually said I wanted to quit, my mother must have sensed it because she ended the conversation by scolding me.

She said, “Don’t you dare let them get in the way of your goals and dreams. Don’t you dare let them win. You’ll always regret it.”

Eighteen years later, I think about that moment all the time.

My mom’s words that day lit a fire under me, a fire that remains today. Growing up, I was a severely shy child, to the point where my parents were concerned about my well-being and my future, but they helped me fight my way out of that.

Support. Encouragement. Sacrifice.

My mother has done all of that and so much more throughout my life, all for the sake of her family.

I now know that as an Army wife, she put her career hopes and dreams aside in order to support my Dad [Gary] and help my brothers and me continually adjust to the many moves and all the change that comes with life in the military. During those wonderful yet challenging years, she learned many valuable lessons — lessons that she has now passed on to me. Now that I have three children of my own, I get it.

My adult life is very different from the life my mom led at this age, but when it comes down to the most important things, our lives are quite similar because our priorities are the same — priorities that she helped instill in me.

Someday, this amazing, blessed career of mine and all of the awesomeness that comes with it will be long gone. But I know that I will be just fine because throughout it all, I have tried to do my best to make sure my family is my No. 1 priority — just like she did.

Now, it’s my turn to help my kids work through their fears, their challenges, their insecurities, their wins and their losses, the good, the bad and the ugly — just like she did, and continues to do for me every single day of her life.

There aren’t many certainties in life, and I might not be good at many things, but here’s one thing I know for sure: I am blessed to have the best teacher, the best mentor, the best example of what it takes to be good at the most important role in my life: to be a good mother.

Because of you, Mom, I am confident that my kids will grow up to be wonderful, kind human beings.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mona Steele! Thank you for being you.

And just so you know, that fire is still there. Still burning, as bright as ever.

I promise, I will never quit.

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