Dad Life: Fatherhood Stories From the 76ers

by Lauren Rosen

The 76ers who double as dads take fatherhood very seriously.

On the heels of over three months away from basketball, the dads on the team each expressed how rewarding this unexpected time at home has been.

The newest dad on the team is Kyle O’Quinn, who is the father of 4-month old twins. Midway through the hiatus, O’Quinn discussed the special bond among the 76er dad squad.

“I probably talked to Mike Scott the most about it. Me and Mike have a lot to talk about, but [fatherhood is] just a new topic we can add to our conversations. Mike was a big help during the process... I went to Al [Horford] a bunch of times on different topics, considering he’s super involved with his family, and his kids love him to pieces. I had to ask him some questions, and he had to give me straight answers, and he was honored to do so.”

For Al Horford, the NBA hiatus has been all about spending time with his three kids (Ean, 5; Alía, 3; and Ava, 1).

“It’s a lot of quality time. We’re obviously going through a very hard time in the world with this pandemic, but having this time with [family] - it’s something that I don’t think it would ever happen. It’s brought me closer to them. My wife and I are really making the most out of this time.”

Horford’s son is already taking a liking to the family business.

“My son is getting into basketball more and more. Right now I start watching film, I put one of our games on - he starts shooting immediately on his hoop. He wants to play against me. He wants to do the whole game ceremony - the jump ball, free throws, timeouts, he’s into all that stuff. And now my daughters are wanting to get involved too. It’s really cool. They see me working out, and they want to join in.”

Mike Scott, father to Jeremiah, 4, and Nori, 2, says fatherhood is all about slowing down the pace - a far departure from day-to-day life in the NBA.

“Patience. You’ve got to be patient. I don’t have a lot of patience, but I definitely learned patience with kids. You have to figure it out yourself, and grow with your kids… My son, he does a lot of stuff I did growing up. For me, that’s probably the best part - you get to see them grow.”

Alec Burks says being a dad is all about soaking up the little moments with his daughter, Ashtyn.

“I think seeing her grow every day, see something different every day, it’s amazing. The world is new to her. Seeing something different every day, makes her day, off little things. It’s a blessing.”

In a recent interview, Glenn Robinson III discussed the importance of fatherhood in his life, and how his daughter, Ariana, inspired him to create The ARI Foundation. The foundation aims to empower fathers and support fatherless families. Robinson is also using the foundation to support Black Lives matter and combat police brutality.

“It means a lot to me to be able to say more than just words,” Robinson said. “And it’s my daughter’s legacy that I’m representing, and that means so much to me. If I can represent her in the best way possible, and help people, it’s a win-win for me.”

For some of the other 76ers, Father’s Day is still a time to appreciate their own dads.

Josh Richardson credits his dad, Micheal, who was both a firefighter and a builder during Josh’s childhood, for shaping the man he is today.

“The person who really inspired me, growing up, my whole life, has been my dad. My relationship with my dad has been one of the most constant things in my life. He’s always been there. He’s always been a grounding factor.” 

Matisse Thybulle’s dad, Greg, learned the ins and outs of basketball - at a high level - just so he could help his son.

“My Dad was the biggest role model for me growing up, and to this day. When I first started to take basketball seriously, my dad - he never played, so he didn’t really understand the game - and me, being a stubborn kid, wouldn’t take his advice very well. I was like ‘Dad, you never played. You don’t get it.’ So he took it upon myself to become a referee, and learn the game, and understand the rules, so he could teach me. As a kid, and now, grown up, I just respect him so much to take that initiative, and take that much pride in being able to teach me and help me get better, to ultimately get to the point where I am today. I could never thank him enough.”

Happy Father’s Day to all the 76ers dads out there!

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