What’s different in housing on your model career and pushing your son?
Johanna Leia: Honestly, I’m way more passionate about my children than I could ever be about me. At the end of the day, Amari is my life. I have a two-year-old as well but we been together for twelve years now and this has been his passion. There is something about having children that make you want to go harder.
How do you think everything you have done prepared you to support him in the spotlight?
Johanna Leia: You know what’s funny? We channel similar things. I modeled for 15 years you have to understand you got torn apart. Casting director and art directors, million dollar companies breaking you apart saying they love this, hate this, literally picking you apart. The modeling industry was a really tough industry and I feel like I can give him the tools given that background to prepare him for the NBA and NCAA basketball which is just as difficult.
How do you think basketball help establish your relationship? Especially when those relationships show to be so important to have in general and in Chicago.
Johanna Leia: Man, the relationship between a mother and son is different. It’s a very, very special bond and Amari trusts me and we just work together well.
Do you feel like there is extra pressure now that you two are on TV?
Johanna Leia: You know, of course. Like I told him at the end of the day everybody is going to have an opinion. You have to dress it up, make it work for you and go harder.
What do you think is the responsibility of you and him to being a bright spot for the city?
Johanna Leia: The beauty of Amari is he’s a real chameleon. He can go in any gym in any area of the city, and you know Chicago is rough, and adapt and be loved and respected. For me, I want him to carry that and regardless what anyone has to say, just keep working and make it work for you.
In the first episode, we see that you get to interact with every mother and they have sons that are older than yours. Do you gain any experience from them?
Johanna Leia: Not really.
Do you think that’s because it’s all competitive?
Johanna Leia: Basketball is political. You can be physical and a phenomenal athlete all day long but it’s the politics behind it that will take you to another level. A lot of these women I don’t think they necessarily understand the dynamics. They’ll have a different story, and I don’t knock theirs but I don’t learn much from them. I learn in different avenues.
Also on the show, we get the Twin Towers, how did that relationship foster?
Johanna Leia: It was kind of my idea. Nikki and I area both extremely tall so I figured it would be cute. Hey, we are the twin towers. They can talk all the mess they want. She’s vocal, I’m vocal. Let’s go.
You showed a little here and on the episode. The normal mom where you are a little shy and basketball mom where you are more aggressive. Inside what does that register in your head?
Johanna Leia: I’m a natural competitor, so that makes me work that much harder. It’s something that pushes me and pushes me and pushes me to make sure he works that much harder too. It’s really a driving force.