The NBA season is slowly coming to an end and it feels like the season just started yesterday. We are finally in the NBA final four a.k.a. the conference finals. We always talk about what happens on the court and the players that play between the lines. The saying goes that behind every great man, there's a great woman. NBA players and athletes in general spend so much time traveling and working on their craft that they often do not have time to be the everyday family man. That is where their significant others come into play.
As a professional basketball player, you get a lot more attention than say a professional football player. The reason is more exposure, more endorsements, fewer players in the league and the NBA's acceptance of personal brands and not just promoting "the shield." NBA players have the luxury of playing in shorts and tank tops and are easily recognizable in public, and they get paid a pretty penny to do so. This all makes NBA players among the most desirable athletes to women. From players that are still wet behind the ears to players a little long in the tooth, NBA players have a great eye when choosing partners. Even the players that fans would consider as "scrubs" have dated women that the regular Joe would only dream about.
The NBA's true superstars choose from amongst some of the most beautiful women in the world. Today, we'll give you a list of 10 younger NBA players with strong dating game and 10 NBA veterans who still have them beat.
20 Young Star: Ben Simmons And Tinashe Kachingwe
The Philadelphia 76ers were among the worst if not the worst NBA team for the past several years. This year, the Sixers won 52 games, good for third in the eastern conference. After winning 28 games the year before, the team improved by 24 games in the win column which was tops in the NBA. Ben Simmons was a major reason why they improved so much and Simmons is on track to winning the NBA's rookie of the year.
Off the court, Ben Simmons is dating actress and singer Tinashe Kachingwe.
Tinashe's background in acting dates back to appearances in popular shows such as Two and a Half Men. Tinashe began her singing career as a member of the group The Stunners. She found her mainstream success as a solo act with the single "2 on" from her album titled Aquarius. The song garnished the attention of superstar Drake who created his own unofficial remix. Tinashe appeared on popular New York radio station HOT 97 and opened up about the relationship saying, "I’ve never in my whole career posted about a guy, so I’m hoping he doesn’t break up with me next week," she said. Later adding "It’s been interesting. It’s a learning process. I’m still getting used to it." Ben Simmons doesn't seem to be stressing his playoff failures too much I see.
19 Veteran Star: Dwyane Wade And Gabrielle Union
In the 2003 NBA draft, the Miami Heat selected Dwyane Wade with the 5th pick in the first round. Out of Marquette, Wade was a combo guard that excelled in the mid-range. In his third season in the NBA Wade established himself as one of the league's best players after winning the NBA finals alongside Shaquille O'Neal. Wade later recruited Chris Bosh and LeBron James to Miami and went to four consecutive NBA finals winning two more championships. Now, Wade may have just finished his final season in the NBA as there are whispers of the possibility of D-Wade retiring this summer.
On August 30, 2014 Dwyane Wade married Gabrielle Union. Union is an actress that began her career in the 1990s in several roles before she had her break in the classic 2000 movie Bring It On. Union has starred in tons of major successful Hollywood movies and has her own fan base outside of her companionship with Wade. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union recently purchased tickets for fans to go see her latest movie Breaking In that she also produced. Union can be spotted in the crowd cheering on Dwyane Wade whether he plays for the Cavaliers, Bulls or the place they call home in South Beach Miami.
18 Young Star: Bradley Beal And Kamiah Adams
This season Bradley Beal had arguably his best season as a professional in the NBA. Last year, Beal's numbers were statistically better but this year he was voted as an all-star, and with John Wall out due to injury he showed the ability to carry a team on his own. The Washington Wizards did not finish the season as they had hoped falling to eighth in the eastern conference and a loss to the Toronto Raptors in 6 games.
Bradley Beal has been dating Kamiah Adams since 2015. Adams is known for appearing on VH1's Love and Hip-Hop Hollywood. Adams previously dated former B2K member Lil' Fizz. Kamiah had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur since she was young and made those dreams come true when she started her hair extension and beauty product line XO. You may recognize Adams who turned into a popular meme in 2017 after witnessing LeBron James make an off balance 3-pointer to tie the game and force overtime before becoming victorious. Earlier this month, Adams made the announcement that she and Bradley Beal are expecting a baby later this year. This would be the first child for both Adams and Beal. Congratulations to the both of them.
17 Veteran Star: Al Horford And Amelia Vega
The Boston Celtics are on another magical playoff run and Al Horford is one of the major contributors that helped them get this far. The eastern conference finals are here and the two best players for the Celtics Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are out with injury. Al Horford was selected to his fifth all-star game this season and the playoffs is where he has made his biggest impact this season. Horford has averaged 15.1 points per game and is shooting 51.9 percent from 3-point range during this post season.
Horford is married to Dominican actress, model, and singer Amelia Vega.
Amelia Vega became the first Dominican woman to win Miss Universe in 2003. Vega is pregnant with her and Horford's third child. The couple wed in 2011 after dating for two years. Al Horford is from the Dominican Republic so the bond with the Dominican beauty queen should come as no surprise. Vega also has extended herself in the business world as she owns two boutiques in Miami named Essence by Amelia Vega. Horford played basketball collegiately at the University of Florida and has roots in the Florida area. The Celtics are good again, and he has a beautiful wife and family off the court, Al Horford is living the good life.
16 Young Star: Andrew Wiggins And Alex Reid
Before the start of the regular season, Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves agreed on a 5-year $150 million extension. The former number one overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft has shown enough in his 4 seasons for Minnesota to believe he has the potential to blossom into an all-star one day. The Timberwolves did not have the type of season that they hoped for after trading for Jimmy Butler and adding Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson last summer. Jimmy Butler sustained a knee injury right after all-star break and the Timberwolves slipped to eighth in the west and an eventual first round exit.
Wiggins has been dating singer and model Alex Reid since at least 2014. Reid is a singer and model that became the first African-American K-pop member when she joined the group BP Rania in 2015. In an interview with ChanLo, Adams opened up about her passion for music. "Since I can remember, I’ve dreamed of making it in music. According to my parents, I memorized every song lyric from my favorite Disney movie before I could even speak in full sentences, so apparently they knew I was musically inclined," she said. She seems like a great catch Andrew, I approve.
15 Veteran Star: Steph Curry And Ayesha Curry
The Golden State Warriors are the NBA's newest dynasty. Like the old Bulls, Celtics and Lakers teams of the past, Golden State has established themselves as the new gold standard in the NBA. The reason for much of the success of the Warriors the past 4 years has been the emergence of Steph Curry. During this run, Curry won two MVP's and has all but cemented himself as the best shooter in the history of the NBA.
As I'm sure you may know Steph Curry is married to his longtime girlfriend Ayesha.
Before Ayesha was married to Steph, she was an actress in several movies and television shows. Ayesha had a passion for cooking since she was younger and began a food blog. After starting the blog, Ayesha began a YouTube channel that sparked her own television show in Food Network titled Ayesha's Homemade. There have been some sadder times for the Warriors dating back to June 2016. The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Golden State and Ayesha Curry blew up social media by accusing the NBA of being rigged when her husband's team did not win. The Curry's have two daughters together and Ayesha is reported to be pregnant with the couple’s third child. Steph and Ayesha are one of the most popular couples in the NBA.
14 Young Star: Jayson Tatum And Samie Amos
The Boston Celtics made a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers in which the Celtics acquired a future lottery pick for the number 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. The Sixers would draft Markelle Fultz and the Celtics would select Jayson Tatum. After the draft, Jayson Tatum mentioned in interviews that the Celtics were planning on drafting Tatum with the first pick in the draft even before the trade was made. As a rookie this season, Tatum averaged 13.9 points per game starting 80 games. Tatum had a hot start to his rookie year leading the NBA in 3-point percentage before hitting the proverbial "rookie wall." What we do not typically see from rookies is them recover from the poor play to lead their team on deep playoff runs. The Celtics are in the conference finals and Tatum has been their most outstanding player this post season.
Outside of basketball, Tatum is dating Duke Volleyball player Samie Amos. The two met while they both were athletes at Duke University. Amos is from Pittsburgh, Pa and is an outside hitter standing at 6'2" tall. Tatum recently revealed to the world his new born son Christopher who Amos is not the mother of. Tatum has a bright future in the NBA and Amos seems to be supporting him the entire way.
13 Veteran Star: Isaiah Thomas And Kayla Wallace
This may have been the worst season in the NBA for Isaiah Thomas in his 7 seasons as a professional. Thomas began the season on the IR as he was recovering from a hip injury that he suffered the previous season while a member of the Boston Celtics. After 7 long months of rehab, Thomas returned in December and was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers after 15 games with the Cavs. Last year, Thomas was a dynamic scoring guard that averaged 28.9 points per game and leading the Celtics to the first seed in the eastern conference. This season, Thomas finished the season off the bench behind rookie Lonzo Ball.
Isaiah Thomas married his longtime girlfriend Kayla Wallace in 2016. The couple wed at Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle, Washington. Wallace graduated from Central Washington University and is a certified teacher. Kayla Wallace gave birth to Isaiah Thomas' youngest son Jaiden on January 29th 2012. Thomas has another son James that he had with his ex-girlfriend. Thomas and Wallace’s relationship dates back to their high school years. Both are very affectionate online as they both often dedicate posts about their affinity for each other. This is one of my favourite couples in the entire NBA.
12 Young Star: Lonzo Ball And Denise Garcia
The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Lonzo Ball with the second pick in the 2017 NBA draft. Heralded Laker Magic Johnson was named president of basketball operations and selected Ball to be the future of the franchise. Lonzo Ball played collegiately at UCLA and jumped on the scene in 2017 when his father became a national story for his faith in his son's ability. This season with the Lakers, Lonzo had an up and down rookie year struggling out the gate before finding his stride later on. Teammate Kyle Kuzma was a more impressive rookie as several players drafted after Ball have shown ability to become future all-stars.
While attending Chino Hills High School in California, Lonzo Ball met his current girlfriend Denise Garcia. Denise is older than Lonzo as she graduated in 2014 and Lonzo graduated from high school in 2016. Garcia is an athlete in her own right as she is a soccer star at UC Riverside. She sat out the 2015 season after transferring from Seattle where she played her freshman season. In April, Lonzo broke the news that Garcia is pregnant with their first child. Lonzo's dad has gone through hoops to get all his sons into the NBA; I would expect his grandchild to get the same treatment.
11 Veteran Star: Tristan Thompson And Khloe Kardashian
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Tristan Thompson with the 4th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. Thompson has played his entire career in Cleveland and is currently the longest tenured Cavalier. In 2016, Tristan Thompson was an integral piece that helped defeat the 73-win Golden State Warriors. Thompson has been known as an iron man for the Cavs during his career as he missed the first game of his career last season after playing in every game his first 5 seasons in the NBA. This season however, has been a difficult one as Thompson has lost his starting role and battled through injury that did not allow him to be as effective as years past.
Thompson is in a relationship with Khloe Kardashian of the famous Kardashian family. The two have been in a relationship for the past two years and recently welcomed a baby girl into the world. The Kardashians are usually seen as a curse to whichever athlete they decide to date as we have seen their careers spiral after the relationship ends, but we are not here to discuss that today. According to Time magazine, Khloe has a net worth of $40 million but that number was never confirmed. Khloe is currently living with Thompson in Cleveland and is often spotted at Quicken Loans arena cheering for Tristan and the Cavs.
10 Young Star: Kyle Kuzma And Sophia Jamora
The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Lonzo Ball with the second pick of the 2017 NBA draft but their 27th pick of that round may have had a better rookie season. There was a lot of hype for the Lakers entering this new chapter and Kyle Kuzma was one of the most surprising rookies we have seen in this promising class. His junior season at Utah, Kuzma averaged 16.9 points and 9.3 rebounds receiving first-team All-Pac-12 honours. While with the Lakers Kuzma averaged 16.1 points playing mostly off the bench and showing an ability to play both inside and outside with great touch from the perimeter.
The standout rookie is rumoured to be dating model Sofia Jamora. In an interview Jamora opened up about how she was discovered, "I was at a trunk show in Westlake at Kate and Lace, Mimi (co-founder of Frankies Swim Wear) came up to me and asked me if I’ve ever modelled before and if I’d like to. From there I shot with Frankies and that opened up a whole bunch of opportunities for me!” Jamora was spotted at Lakers games this season cheering for Kuzma and making posts on Instagram to her 1.8 million followers. Kyle Kuzma went from playing at Utah to being one of the faces of the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the highest regarded clubs in all of basketball.
9 Veteran Star: James Harden And Ashanti Douglas
The Houston Rockets are the first team to win the western conference outside of the Golden State Warriors since 2015. General manager Darryl Morey has publicly stated that he loses sleep at night over figuring out ways to dethrone the Warriors. Houston will finally have their chance to see where they stand next to the defending champions in the western conference finals. The Rockets are where they are today due to the stellar regular season play of James Harden. The front runner for MVP this season proved that he has the ability to play along Chris Paul as the pairing was met with skepticism in the off-season.
Off the court, James Harden has dated many high profile celebrity women including Khloe Kardashian and Amber Rose. Now, James Harden is in another high profile relationship, this time with r&b singer Ashanti. Ashanti Douglas was one of the most popular singers in the early 2000s and still is touring and making music to this day. The 37-year old is also an actress and has starred in movies such as John Tucker Must Die, Resident Evil: Extinction, and Coach Carter. I am not sure how long this relationship will last but I hope that it does as a fan of them both.
8 Young Star: Donovan Mitchell And Deja Lighty
The Utah Jazz were expected to be one of the bottom teams in the western conference after losing Gordon Hayward in free agency last summer. Almost no one outside of the Utah area believed this team would make the playoffs and I bet some fans in Utah had their doubts. What we did not know was that Donovan Mitchell would have a stellar rookie season. Mitchell was selected13th in the 2017 NBA draft after a trade with Denver landed them the pick in exchange for Trey Lyles. At Louisville, no one knew Mitchell had the potential to be a franchise player.
Mitchell is currently dating Deja Lighty who graduated from Temple University in early May 2018.
Deja is the daughter of deceased Hip-Hop mogul Chris Lighty who was responsible for managing 50 Cent, Ja Rule, Diddy, and Mariah Carey. Just like Mitchell, Lighty also has a passion for sports especially basketball. Before graduating, Lighty was an intern for Roc Nation which has high profile clients in sports and entertainment. Now, Lighty is working as an account executive for organizational business development for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brains and beauty is hard to come by and Donovan Mitchell seems to have found the full package in Deja Lighty.
7 Veteran Star: Klay Thompson And Hannah Stocking
The Golden State Warriors have a chance to win their third championship in the last four seasons. Before Steve Kerr coached the Warriors, Coach Mark Jackson labeled Klay Thompson and Steph Curry as the best shooting back court in NBA history. That statement wasn't as widely accepted then as it is now and Thompson has done his part to be in that conversation. Klay Thompson is the lost star in the dynasty in Golden State and doesn't get the credit he is due as a major part that makes that team go.
There have been rumours of Thompson dating internet star Hannah Stocking. I am unsure if the two are still together at the moment, but she was a great catch while they were together. Hannah Stocking was born in Los Angeles, California. Stocking studied biology and chemistry at Dominican University of California and earned her degree. While in college, Stocking was a member of the volleyball team as well. Hannah's fame came in 2013 when she became an internet sensation on the popular video sharing app Vine. After becoming famous on Vine, Stocking took that attention to start her own YouTube channel that has over 3 million subscribers. Now, Stocking has over 12 million followers on Instagram and leveraged her popularity to a great career.
6 Young Star: Justin Jackson And Brooke Copeland
Unless you are a die-hard NBA fan there is a chance that you have never heard of Justin Jackson. Jackson was drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the 15th pick in the 2017 NBA draft. After a successful high school career, Jackson was ranked as the 8th best player in his class before committing to the University of North Carolina in 2014. In his three seasons at North Carolina, Jackson won ACC player of the year as a junior as well as being named a consensus first-team All-American.
Jackson is currently dating Brooke Copeland, who played basketball at the University of Florida.
After her junior season, Copeland stopped playing basketball and wanted to dedicate her time and energy to make a difference in the world. When asked about her decision to leave the NBA, she said "This life is so finite. We have such a finite amount of time to impact. But we have such a powerful opportunity for impact and for influence and to change people’s lives for the better… “I just think that’s so freaking powerful. And for us to not use that impact and use that influence and that power is just a disservice to the world.” Justin Jackson and Brooke Copeland got married in August 2017 and I hope their respective careers continue to develop into everything they've hoped.
5 Veteran Star: DeAndre Jordan And Amber Alvarez
The Los Angeles Clippers selected DeAndre Jordan with the 35th overall pick in the second round of the 2008 NBA draft. Players selected in the second round in the NBA are considered lottery tickets and if they happen to hit then great, if not you don't have much invested in the first place. Jordan qualifies as one of those players that were a lottery ticket winner. Last season, DeAndre Jordan was selected to the all-star game for the first time and was selected this year as well. On the defensive end of the floor, Jordan is one of the league's best rim defenders and has the ability to finish around the rim with the best of them.
DeAndre Jordan is in a relationship with a woman by the name of Amber Alvarez. Jordan the Texas native is dating a fellow Texan in Amber Alvarez. Alvarez is a model and began her career when she signed with the modeling agency Kim Dawson Model Agency out of Dallas, Texas. In 2011, she moved to Los Angeles where Jordan plays and signed with another agency L.A. Models. There is no telling how much longer DeAndre Jordan will be in Los Angeles for the Clippers but if he does get traded I hope the two can keep their relationship going.
4 Young Star: Lauri Markkanen And Verna Aho
The Chicago Bulls drafted Lauri Markkanen with the 7th pick in the 2017 NBA draft. For many people, the selection was a head scratcher as the team already had a perimeter shooting big man in Nikola Mirotic. Out of Finland, Markkanen signed with the University of Arizona and was considered as a one-and-done candidate, and he was just that. During his lone season at Arizona Markkanen averaged 15.6 points per game and shot 42.3 percent from the 3-point line. In January 2017, SB Nation referred to Markkanen as "the best shooting 7-footer college basketball has ever seen." That is high praise and during his rookie season he proved that he may very well be the next Dirk Nowitzki.
Off the court, Markkanen is dating fellow Finn Verna Aho. Aho is a blogger that shares posts regularly about her love for being vegan and the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Blogging is easy to get started in and that may be a reason that many people start but quickly flame out as it requires a true passion to continue doing so long term. That has not been a problem for Aho who often posts different vegan recipes and dinner options. Aho turned 21 years old in April and no word yet if she plans to move to the United States full time.
3 Veteran Star: Chris Paul And Jada Crawley
The Houston Rockets traded with the Los Angeles Clippers last summer to acquire Chris Paul. There was doubt that the ball centric point guard would work with another ball dominant guard in James Harden as I've mentioned before but the two have made the transition seamless. Chris Paul has been one of the best point guards in the NBA since he was drafted out of Wake Forest in 2005. Chris Paul is very close friends with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade a.k.a. the banana boat crew. While in high school in North Carolina, Paul was one of the best players in the country and signed on to play at Wake Forest University.
While in college at Wake Forest, Chris Paul met his future wife Jada Crawley at 18 years old. In 2009, Crawley gave birth to Christopher Paul who has been known for crashing CP3's post-game press conferences and appearing in State Farm commercials. Chris Paul started the Chris Paul Family Foundation that has a yearly program run by Jada called the Jada Paul Prom Dress Giveaway. We are in prom season now, and Jada pays all the expenses to send girls to prom and pays for their dresses, hair, makeup and shoes. Philanthropy is great when you see people helping out the communities that they come from and the Paul's do just that.
2 Young Star: Dennis Smith Jr And Dominique Wilson
While in high school Dennis Smith Jr. was ranked as the number 1 point guard in the country for his 2016 class. His junior season, Smith tore his ACL and missed his entire senior season while rehabbing. Smith claimed that the injury improved his jumping ability and as a rookie Smith showed flashes to a young Derrick Rose. The Dallas Mavericks selected Smith with the 9th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. Smith felt that he was the best point guard in this class and as good as anyone in the draft. Smith would end up as the fourth point guard selected and New York Knick fans were devastated that their team passed up on the N.C. State standout.
Dennis Smith Jr. is currently dating N.C. State graduate Dominique Wilson. Wilson is from Georgia and played basketball at N.C. State before graduating in 2017. Wilson has furthered her playing career as she is now playing professionally overseas in Sweden. Dominique Wilson did a player profile for N.C. State and stated that basketball was a last resort for her. As a child she dreamed of playing football because she grew up in a house with brothers. One of her interests off the court is painting as sketch drawing is one of her favorite past times. Smith has been a great player on the floor and picked a winner off the court as well.
1 Veteran Star: LeBron James And Savannah Brinson
Out of St. Vincent St. Mary in Akron, Ohio LeBron James jumped on the national scene when he was featured in SLAM Magazine as "the best high school basketball player in the country" before the start to his junior year of high school. Later he appeared on the front cover of Sports Illustrated in which James was the first underclassmen basketball player to do so. I could go on and on about his accolades on the basketball court but comparisons to Michael Jordan are becoming more eye-opening by the dribble and that's all you need to know.
While in high school, LeBron began dating Savannah Brinson from rival school Buchtel in Akron, Ohio. Savannah was a cheerleader and member of the school's softball team. The couple wed in 2013 and share two boys and one girl. Savannah is a philanthropist and spear headed LeBron's I Promise campaign that promised free college educations to the youth in Akron and has even evolved into an upcoming school. LeBron James has been in the spotlight for 16 years and Savannah has been behind him every step of the way. Off the floor, LeBron James has never been in any controversy and has handled his celebrity with style and grace. Some of that has to be accredited to Savannah and being in his corner through it all.