A sweet thing happened at practice today, but it slipped my mind until now:
Jeff Pendergraph had a special guest at practice Monday: his mom. The two hung out after practice ended, chatting together on a sideline bench.
After Monty Williams wrapped up a full-court drill with Patty Mills and Travis Outlaw, Pendergraph brought his mother, LaDona Orcutt, over to meet the assistant coach. Williams had kind words for her son, adding that sometimes when rookies get playing time they think they know it all, but not Jeff—he’s continued to work hard and listen.
Just before they parted, Williams asked about their plans for the evening. “You gonna take her out?” Williams wondered, ready to share his knowledge of haute Portland cuisine. “You know the good spots?” Williams prodded, cracking a big smile, “you know, now that you got that NBA cheese?”
Pendergraph became bashful. No, they wouldn’t be going out. “We’re gonna be doing some home cooking tonight,” he said. Mom was seemed both excited and insistant—she would indeed cook for her son.
A sweet moment, one which sheds light on the deeper character that is Jeff Pendergraph. He’s all teeth on the court, but more than glaring off it.
MORE: Friend of the blog Wendell Maxey has been following this connection too. He wrote about the family connection in the Portland Sentinel (a paper I’ve gone on a number of assignments for as well).