Darvin Ham Bio: Wife, Kids & Shooting Incident

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Darvin Ham Sr. is a former professional basketball player and current coach for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA.

Ham played in the NBA for eight seasons total, from 1996 to 2005, before pursuing his coaching career.

The Texas Tech University alumnus was appointed the head coach for the Lakers in 2022 and is looking to lead the team back to the Finals in his first year.

Darvin Ham
Darvin Ham (Source: Opoyi)

As Curry and LeBron prepare to renew a longstanding rivalry, the Lake Show head coach recently emphasized just how special that rivalry is.

It’s arguably the best rivalry in the NBA or, as Ham has termed it, “the best rivalry of this generation,” which is why fans are willing to pay $750 on average to book their seat for the game.

Quick Facts

Full Name Darvin Ham Sr. 
Known As Darvin Ham
Nickname Ham
Birthdate July 23, 1973
Age 50 Years Old
Birthplace  Saginaw, Michigan, United States
Current Residence Los Angeles, California, United States
Father Howard Ham
Mother Wilmer Jones-Ham
Maternal Grandmother Evalena Jackson Jones
Maternal Grandfather Woodrow Wilson Jones Sr.
Siblings DeRonnie Turner
Nationality American
Marital Status Married
Spouse Deneitra Ham (m. 1998-Present)
Kids Darvin Ham Jr. (1992), Donovan Ham (1997), Dominic Ham (2000)
Built Big
Sexual Orientation Straight
Eye Color Dark Brown
Hair Color Bald
Height 6 ft 7 in/2.01 m/201 cm
Weight 240 lb/109 kg
Ethnicity Afro-American
Horoscope Leo
Religion Christian
Profession Former NBA Player, Head Coach
Education Saginaw High School,  Texas Tech University, Otero JC (1992–1993)
Association Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Draft 1996 Undrafted
Playing Career 1996-2008
Position Small Forward
Number 35, 31, 21, 8
Coaching Career 2008-Present
Played For Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons
Net Worth $1 to $5 Million
Salary Not Known
Social Media Not Active
Last Update May 2024

Early Life & Education

Darvin Ham was born to Wilmer Jones-Ham and Howard Ham on July 23, 1973, in Saginaw, Michigan.

His mother, Wilmer Jones-Ham, is the first female mayor of Saginaw, who served from 2001 to 2005.

Similarly, his father, Howard, worked on the General Motors assembly line and later served in the United States Air Force.

Darvin has spoken about his grandparents with deep respect and shared that he was raised in a household with a strong faith in Jesus Christ.

Darvin Ham's Mother
Darvin Ham’s Mother (Source: UpNorthLive.com)

His maternal grandmother Evalena Jackson Jones was born in Ludowici, Georga 1924. Similarly, his maternal grandfather Woodrow Wilson Jones Sr., was from Mississippi.

He has shared that he still has cousins in Ludowici, Georga. He and his brother spent their summer in Georga as kids, and that’s where both of them learned to play basketball together.

Ham grew up in a “blue-collar family” along with his older brother DeRonnie Turner.

Darvin was passionate about playing sports, but his father insisted on his son getting a good education.

He said he nearly joined the military, but his father insisted he attend college instead.


Darvin Ham has often spoken about his brother DeRonnie, as someone who got him into the sport of basketball.

Turner is four years older than Ham. He played basketball at Savannah State for two seasons in the early 90s.

DeRonnie graduated from the University of Phoenix with a degree in business. He then obtained a master’s degree from the same university.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he currently works as a human resource policy and employee relations investigator for General Motors.

Moreover, according to Turner, Ham always dreamed of being a coach when they were younger.


Darvin attended Saginaw High School, and after graduation, he went to Texas Tech University in 1993.

Interestingly, he was just 5’9” when he entered high school, and by the time he left, he was 6’5”. During his sophomore year, he had a big spurt.

He won the NCAA slam dunk contest in 1996.


On October 1, 1996, Denver Nuggets selected Ham as a free agent, but he was traded to the Pacers the following season for Jerome Allen in February 1997.

He then bounced back and forth to several NBA teams, including Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, and Washington Wizards.

Darvin Ham For The Detroit Pistons
Darvin Ham For The Magic (Source: Sports Illustrated)

Over the course of eight seasons in the NBA, he played 417 games and averaged 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds.

Besides NBA, Ham also played in Spain and later in the Philippines, as well as in the NBA Development League in 2007 and 2008.

Wife & Children


The Lakers head coach, Darvin Ham, has been married to Deneitra Ham since 1998, and the couple recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

Darvin met his wife when he was at Texas Tech. Deneitra, a Texas native, graduated from the same university in 2003.

Darvin Ham Wife
Darvin Ham With His Wife (Source: GH Gossip)

Ham has three children; two from his wife Deneitra and an older son from his previous relationship.


Darvin Ham Jr. was born in 1992 when the coach was still in high school.

Ham and his current wife welcomed their first child Donovan Ham on January 3, 1997. Three years later, on January 24, 2000, they welcomed their son Dominic Ham.

Both of Ham’s children grew up in Atlanta and attended North Atlanta High School. Donovan played at Mississippi College and majored in business administration.

Dominic, on the other hand, is a junior at the University of Wisconsin and playing for the Milwaukee Panthers. He is currently studying communications.

Ham’s eldest son following his father’s footsteps, served as an assistant basketball coach at Northwood University at Michigan, his alma mater from where he graduated in 2014.

He is currently an assistant coach for Cleveland Charge of the NBA G League.

Ham Sr. has three grandchildren from Ham. Jr.; Darvin Ham III, Cali, and Cataleya Moore.

Los Angeles Lakers

There is a lot of pressure on the head coach who landed his gig with the Lakers franchise that has won 18 championships.

Even though the team has arguably the greatest NBA player of all time, LeBron James, and other notable players, the NBA championship seems far for the team.

Darvin Ham Coaching Anthony Davis
Darvin Ham Coaching Anthony Davis (Source: Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers struck first in their Western Conference Semifinal matchup against the Warriors, holding on for a nail-biting 117-112 win at the Chase Center on Tuesday night, 2 May 2023.

Anthony Davis played stellar, recording 30 points and 23 rebounds in Game 1.

He is just the fourth player in franchise history with a 30-20-5 line in the postseason.

Ham Got Shot At 14

Darvin Ham grew up in a house behind a nightclub and a liquor store. It was normal for him and his family to hear gunshots.

On April 5, 1988, Ham went to pick up a pizza with his brother, and as they were driving, the brothers got caught in the middle of a crossfire.

Ham still vividly remembers the incident. As he sat in his car, he saw a person running towards him while three others gave chase, firing weapons.

The loud sound of gunfire filled the air as bullets flew past Ham, with one ultimately striking him in the jaw.

The 14 years old underwent a successful operation and said the doctor handed him the bullet afterward and told him he was lucky to be alive. 

Unknown Facts About Darvin Ham

  • Ham is a Christian.
  • He garnered national attention during the 1996 NCAA Tournament against UNC by shattering the backboard on a slam dunk. The dunk was even featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
  • Ham and his wife, Deneitra, founded Urban Youth Development, a non-profit organization, in 2003.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

How much does Darvin Ham make in a year as the Laker's head coach?

The LA Lakers head coach Darvin Ham earns approximately $5 million per year.

How did Darvin Ham get the bump on his head?

He got a bump on his head because he once got shot in the face by a stray bullet when he was 14 years old.

Pranaya Poudel
Pranaya Poudelhttp://playersbio.com
Stargazer, & Rock n' Roller I Pranaya Poudel, am a content writer and editor for playersbio.com. Coffee lover and kind of a loner. Favorite Teams: Milwaukee Bucks (NBA), Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) Favorite Players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden & Patrick Mahomes FYI I believe in Alien!!!

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