The Real MVP: The Wanda Durant Story (2016 Lifetime)

The Real MVP: The Wanda Durant Story (2016 Lifetime)

Cast: Eli BaxterDaniel BellomyEric Bempong

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

The inspiring true story of NBA great Kevin Durant’s mother Wanda and her dedication to raising one of the world’s greatest basketball players.

Thoughts

The movie begins with Kevin Durant giving a speech at an MVP Basketball induction. About growing up in PG county as footage of Washinton DC plays. We meet Wanda, a single mother struggling to raise two children, Kevin and Tony, with her mother. Wanda’s mother is tough on her daughter and wants her to make it on her own. They get into an argument, and Wanda takes her kids out in the middle of the night with nowhere to go. She realizes her mistake and makes up with her mother. Wanda starts looking ahead and makes a plan.

Wanda rents a house and starts doing hair in her kitchen in addition to working in the post office. She shows her sons around the house and introduces them to some new rules. Wanda has a chore board and a dream board for her sons to make goals for themselves. She enters her boys in a Basketball camp to keep them occupied while she works. 

The coach of the basketball team seems inlined with Wanda’s goals for her children. The boys are naturals and excel in the camp. Wayne, Wanda’s ex, shows up to pay some child support. She brags about her boys, but he wants nothing to do with them, which is sad. Wanda is disappointed but has to move on. 

Coach Craig convinces Wanda to put her boys into a more prestigious AAU. It will cost money, but he promises it will be in investment in their future by earning college scholarships. While the brothers train and hone their skills, Wanda applies for a supervisor position and starts dating again. The two son thing get in the way of Wanda finding love.

Wanda doubles down and focuses on making her boys successful at anything they set their minds to. Wanda sits side court and cheers them on as they play for College and NBA scouts. Wayne shows up, and Wanda is suspicious of his motives. He makes them clear when he makes out with her in his car and then takes her home for some sexy time. Then he tries to sneak out in the middle of the night. Later she finds out Wayne has got another woman pregnant. Poor Wanda. Anytime she tries to do something for herself, it goes wrong. 

Tony gets a college acceptance letter. Wanda doesn’t seem happy for him because she is going to miss him. She almost cuts herself with a butcher knife. Her son stops her and tells her that he loves her and reminds her of her strength. Wanda realizes Wayne is a deadbeat and writes him off for good. 

Wanda goes back to college, works at the post office, and continues to do hair while Kevin elevates his game. Wanda starts coaching her son, somehow, in her free time. I’m not sure where she finds the time. I love Coach Wanda. She continues to watch Kevin’s games from the sideline and cheers him on. It is so sweet.

Kevin gets offers from multiple colleges, including the top ten schools. Coach Craig is shot and killed just as Kevin is starting to take off. Kevin speaks at his funeral and honor the man who was responsible for seeing his potential. Kevin plays for the University of Texas for one year and gets an offer to go to the NBA. He decides to go pro.and is selected in 2nd draft for Seattle. (All this sports talk is so confusing to me.) Wanda joins him for his first year in the NBA to keep him in line and from getting a big head.

The brothers decide that they want to buy Wanda a home to focus on her own life. Wanda is hurt at first and feels like they are trying to get rid of her. 

Alone in her new fancy home, Wanda is lost. She wonders the streets at night and lays out on the patio, eating junk food. Her house falls into disarray due to Wanda’s pity party. Her mother and BFF drag her out of bed and try to set her straight. 

Wanda goes back to school and earns her degree. Her family and friends celebrate with her, and her sons are so proud of their mother. Wanda begins a new career as a public speaker and talks about being a single mother and overcoming obstacles. 

The real Kevin finishes his speech to his mother and calls her the real MVP. Loved this movie.

Side Note

Minority Report: It is an entirely Black cast—Yas for black actors in leading and supporting roles. 

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Overall rating

🔪🔪🔪🔪 (4 Knives)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)

*Photo Credit: © 2016 Lifetime

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