15 Best Pro Athletes Raised By Single Mothers

Professional athletes are more than just entertainers. To many, they are idols who perform to a degree only their biggest fans can explain. Men and women who sport their skills on the field, court, mat or track are people often admired for their hard work and dedication to the beloved game they play. Many professional athletes were raised by single mothers and it is their mothers who instilled in them the key attributes necessary for success in the athletic world.

This list contains 15 professional athletes whose devoted single mothers brought them up to be gifted athletes with more than just God-given talent propelling them forward. Some of the athletes on this list lost their fathers at young ages, while others never knew their fathers, but with their mother’s perseverance to give their family nothing but the best, these stars excelled in their careers.

Whether it’s on the football field or on the basketball court, the competitors on this list were able to devote their life to the organized physical activity we all love so much, thanks to the love and support from their mothers. When fans are audibly screaming Go Team Go!, these athletic stars are often silently screaming Go Mom Go! Take a look at 15 pro athletes whose success can be attributed not just to the tough grind of the game but to the tough grind of motherhood.

15 Ricky Williams


14 Lance Armstrong

13 Sydney Leroux


12 Kevin Durant

11 Luis Suárez

10 Hope Solo


9 Mike Tyson

8 Alex Rodriguez

7 Jackie Robinson


6 Ray Lewis


5 Colin Kaepernick


4 Julia Mancuso

3 Shaquille O’Neal


2 Larry Bird


1 LeBron James

Arguably one of the all-time best basketball players to have ever graced the court, LeBron Raymone James was born in Akron Ohio, to his sixteen year old mother Gloria Marie James. Things were incredibly difficult for James and his family, as they moved around constantly while his single mother tried to find solid employment. At nine years old, Gloria thought it was best for her son to move in with his youth football coach, Frank Walker. It was Walker who peaked LeBron’s interest in basketball. LeBron started his NBA career as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, being named NBA Rookie of the Year, a title held by only two other players, one of them being Michael Jordan. James decided to play for the Miami Heat after becoming a free agent in 2010. After four seasons and two championships with the Heat, LeBron went back to the Cavaliers. LeBron may have struggled growing up, but he sure didn’t on the basketball court.


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15 Best Pro Athletes Raised By Single Mothers