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Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat kept his promise to his mother, Marilyn Blount, and put her in a home, a real house, after years of raising her 6-foot-9 NBA superstar son in a green trailer in Pinetown, North Carolina that has never been far from Adebayo’s mind. The story goes that Marilyn and her son survived in the green trailer on her $12,000 salary as a meat market cashier.
Adebayo (15.9 ppg/10.2 rebounds/game in 2019-20) didn’t buy his mother a house with his rookie deal contract signed in 2017. He had her live with him in a Miami tower, but he promised her a new house once he signed a big contract. That contract came in late November, and it features $163 million over five years. On Sunday, he purchased his mother a new home.
Bam, who played at the University of Kentucky, has said multiple times that the memories of that green trailer have driven him in life. “The green trailer that made me who I am,” Adebayo tweeted in November before his massive new contract was announced. “The sleepless nights, the nights I slept great, through the pain and struggle as well as through all the great times we had. THANK YOU.”
If you find yourself wanting to learn more about the Adebayo story, a February feature by ESPN’s Zach Lowe is a great place to start. Lowe documents how Adebayo’s mother went about her business and did whatever it took to make sure her son stayed on the right track in life and escaped that green trailer.
“Blount rose every day at 5:45 and cooked Bam a hot breakfast as he slept. After Bam left for school, Blount walked to the Acre Station Meat Farm, where she took home about $12,000 per year as a cashier,” Lowe wrote. “When her son came home from basketball practice, she was already asleep.”
John Calipari eventually came knocking on the green trailer front door and helped Adebayo turn the fire burning inside him into a force that the Heat have rewarded with $163 million.
“I didn’t want to be looked at as a below-the-poverty-line kid,” Bam told Lowe. “But now I think, that trailer is where I got the ambition. The anger. If we had a better life, I wouldn’t be here. That trailer made me.”
As you can see in photos posted by Bam, a framed photo of the green trailer sits inside the front door at Marilyn’s house. According to a 2017 story, AAU coach Kevin Graves gave Bam a framed photo of the green trailer with the following message engraved on a metal plate:
“Never forget where you came from, and never lose sight of where you are going.”
Acre Station…76 Church Lane… My Imperfect/Perfect Home! The Green Trailer That Made Me Who I Am. The Sleepless Nights, The Nights I Slept Great, Through The Pain And Struggle. As Well As Through All The Great Times We Had. THANK YOU 💙#BounceBack #WeNotDoneYet pic.twitter.com/f8qLi4yAls
— 13am Adebayo💥 (@Bam1of1) November 25, 2020