Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo bought his mom, Marilyn Blount, a new home for her 56th birthday.
The NBA All-Star, 23, shared several photos to Instagram of him and his mother walking inside the house for the first time. In two of the shots, the mother-son duo share an emotional hug while wearing masks.
“SCREAMING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WHOLE 🌎 You Deserve This And Much More.
Several of his fellow NBA players commented on Adebayo’s post with well wishes, including Kevin Love, Chris Bosh, Derrick Jones Jr. and Dewan Hernandez.
According to ESPN, Adebayo and his mother lived in a single-wide trailer together in North Carolina while the athlete was growing up.
“My mom never had nothing that she could call her own,” Adebayo told the outlet on Monday. “So growing up and being able to do something different with basketball and be a special player, that was something that I’ve always had in my mind, I’ve always wanted to do. And just having the opportunity to do it for my mom is an incredible experience.”
Adebayo, who was born in New Jersey before moving to North Carolina, where he began his basketball career, said he was “so nervous” before surprising his mom with the home.
“I never really gave her a gift like that,” he said. “So it kind of gave me like a feeling like when I first stepped on the Finals court. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know anything at the moment.”
But once Blount saw her new home, “her face was priceless,” Adebayo said.
“Just seeing that woman go through all she went through and finally getting a break and being able to say, ‘This is mine,’ and ‘I own this,’ that was a big thing for me,” he told reporters. “My mom’s never owned anything, so I always wanted her to own something that she could say, ‘This is mine’ and feel good about it. … I wanted her to have 10 toes down [feeling] this is my house.”
The professional athlete also said that he hung a photo of their former trailer near the front door of the home as a reminder of how far they’ve come.
“I wanted everybody to see where we actually came from,” Adebayo said. “And that doesn’t matter who walks in. You’re going to always see that picture. My whole goal [of] putting it there was just so everybody can see where we actually come from. And where I was raised at, what I went through, the struggle to get my mom a brand new crib and the conditions she lived in. So that’s the main point of the picture.”
Adebayo played basketball at Northside High School in North Carolina. After playing through college with the Kentucky Wildcats, he was drafted by the Heat with the 14th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
Since then, Adebayo has been named an NBA All-Star and was voted to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team during the 2019–20 season. He recently signed a five-year contract extension with the Heat that is reportedly worth $163 million, with the potential to go up to $195.6 million, according to Sports Illustrated.