Imani Boyette Follows in Mother’s Footsteps, Finds Perfect Fit in Chicago

The WNBA Draft — the lights, the stage, getting called up to the podium — is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not only for the player being drafted, but their family as well. That is, unless you’re Imani Boyette’s mother, Pamela McGee.

McGee was selected No. 2 overall in the 1997 WNBA Draft, then 11 years later saw her son, JaVale, get drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. She has lived both sides of the draft experience, and on Thursday night had the chance to do it all over again.

“With the 10th pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft, the Chicago Sky select Imani Boyette, from the University of Texas!”

Now Boyette, who has been very open about her personal struggles, which include a once fractured relationship with her mother, has a chance to follow in her footsteps. And as the Big-12 co-Defensive Player of the Year, and the first Texas Longhorn to finish her career with 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 200 blocks, Boyette looks primed to fall right in step.

“It was awesome to have my fans here, especially my mom because obviously she’s done this,” Boyette said afterwards. “It was just fun. I wish my husband was here, but it was nice to have my family.”

Her family, especially her husband, Paul Boyette, will be right there with her as she continues her journey with the Chicago Sky. A team which Imani is happy to be joining,

“I’m kinda still shaking now,” Boyette told a few minutes after being drafted. “It’s just exciting and it’s great because I’m going to a great situation.”

A team that went 21-13 last year, finished second in the East, and has Elena Delle Donne? Yeah, that does sound like a great situation.

“I’m just blessed,” Boyette continued. “I never thought I would be here, just in general, and especially not on the basketball side. The fact that I’ve been able to overcome so much, and empower people, and inspire people is amazing, and basketball gives me a platform to keep doing that. So I’m excited to go to the WNBA and used that platform to keep changing lives.”

Now that sounds like a tremendous way to keep the family legacy alive.