A MOTHER'S DAY salute to some special West Virginia sports moms:
Betty Jo D'Antoni - She was the matriarch of our state's Basketball Royal Family. Her husband was a legendary high school coach in Mullens and an innovator ahead of his time. Her sons, Danny and Mike, were Hall of Fame players at Marshall and have been longtime NBA coaches. Mike has been the head coach of the Nuggets, Suns and Knicks and won an Olympic Gold Medal as a coach in 2008.
Cecelia Hurt - She was the mother of former Charleston High quarterback Ricky Hurt, the 1970 Kennedy Award winner, but she was also a mom figure to all on the Mountain Lion teams and to all who lived in her housing project. She was also a popular gospel music singer in her community. If a child in her project went to church on Sunday, she rewarded them by inviting them into her home for a Sunday afternoon chicken dinner with all the fixings. It was not unusual to find many CHS legends - Curt Price, Charles Rush, Richard Richmond, Levi Phillips, Shan Phillips and others - enjoying her cooking on a Sunday afternoon.
Carol Jones - A Mason County mom, she raised a basketball-crazy son in a town not known for hoops. She and her husband did all they could to help their son realize his basketball dreams. Her son, Donnie, went on to play at Pikeville College, helped win two national championships as an assistant coach at Florida, was the head coach at Marshall and is now the head coach at UCF in Orlando, Fla.
Monica Melko - A Marshall County mom near Wheeling, this incredible mom sadly lost her husband, Scott, to cancer several years ago. Scott was a great athlete in the Wheeling area and was one of the better young high school basketball officials in the state. Through it all, this mom made life as normal as possible for her children. Her son, Brock, was a point guard at John Marshall from 2007-09. Now he is coaching middle school basketball, and guess who keeps his official scorebook? You guessed it: mom.
Genevieve Morehouse - How did she possibly recover from losing her husband, Gene, in the Marshall plane crash of 1970? She did, and she raised six incredible children, including son Keith, the sports director of WSAZ-TV.
Julie Parsons - A 1972 Stonewall Jackson grad, the former Julie Brawley is married to longtime WVU athletic administrator Mike Parsons. While her husband has worked incredibly long hours and seven-day weeks, she has helped raise three children: Kendra, Kaitlin and Ryan. While the dad works the college games, the mom performs taxi service to the youth basketball, baseball, soccer and track events.
Donna White - Can you imagine being the wife of gym rat, hoops junkie, basketball coach Greg White? Greg has always been in motion. Like his college coach, Stu Aberdeen, he has the metabolism of a hummingbird. It is not easy being the wife of a coach, but during her husband's career as a coach, clinician and speaker, she handled it with dignity and a smile. She has dealt with the children, handled the job changes and been a steady rock during tough times.
Nancy Williams - A single mom, Nancy raised five children at the head of Younger Hollow on Campbell's Creek. Two of her sons, Danny and Mike, earned football scholarships to WVU. Danny is a two-time Kennedy Award winner from DuPont who became a Rhodes Scholar and studied at Oxford. Mike is a longtime hospital administrator at CAMC General. Her five children were five of the brightest to ever go through the halls of DuPont High School and all are successful today. The youngest, Cindy Skiles, owns Teays Valley Physical Therapy and serves the lives of the young and the elderly in our area.
Reach Frank Giardina at fl...@hotmail.com.