Behind the legendary Kawhi Anthony Leonard’s success stands a tall and strong woman who has guided him throughout his journey. That woman is no other than his mother, Kim Leonard.
Kawhi Leonard is the small forward for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
He began his NBA journey in 2011 after being selected by the Indiana Pacers as the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
However, later he got traded to the San Antonio Spurs on draft night.
Similarly, in 2014 he was honored at the NBA Championship with the Finals Most Valuable Player title.
Additionally, Kawhi Leonard is also a five-time All-Star with three All-NBA First Team selections.
Aside from the son’s achievements, let’s get to know about the strong woman who made it all possible.
Quick Facts: Kim Leonard
|Full name||Kim Leonard|
|Kwahi Leonard Merch||Jersey, Basketball Shoes|
|Last Update||January, 2023|
Who is Kwahi Leonard’s mother?
Kim Leonard is the mother of the NBA star, Kawhi Leonard. In addition, Kim Robertson has tied the married knot with Mark Leonard.
There’s not much information about Kim Leonard’s childhood. However, it had come to light, when she was a girl, she used to run track.
Similarly, she also was quick to know about her son’s chosen sport, basketball, along with the politics surrounding her son’s career.
Kim is the mother of one son and four daughters. Kawhi Leonard is the youngest among all of the siblings.
Kawhi’s parents were divorced, and he spent much of his youth in Moreno Valley, east of Los Angeles, with his mother.
In 2008, the Leonard family faced a piece of tragic news that shook the whole NBL industry.
In January 2008, Kim’s husband, Mark Leonard, was reported dead in Compton, California, United States.
The tragedy of Kim Leonard’s ex-husband: Mark Leonard
Mark Leonard, the father of the NBA star, was shot and killed in front of his car wash in Compton, California, the United States, in January 2008.
According to his present wife, Jacqueline Leonard, the event began when a buddy approached Mark, seeking Mark’s assistance in resolving a disagreement.
She claims she had no idea who the other individuals were. But then, everyone departed after a heated conversation, and she suddenly saw something strange.
Later, someone wearing a grey sweatshirt and hood over his head stepped through the fence and approached them around closing time, hours later.
Then unexpectedly, the suspect started shooting everywhere and stood over Mark Leonard, hitting him.
After creating such chaos, the suspect ran away.
According to ESPN, Mark had scheduled to leave work early that night to watch his incredible son, Kawhi, play.
Kawhi Leonard‘s world came crumbling down when he heard the news.
He was disoriented and numb. Despite this, he played the next night for Riverside King, scoring 17 points in a defeat against Compton Dominguez.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Leonard cried in his mother’s arms after the game.
Leonard told the New York Times, “Basketball is my life, and I wanted to go out there and take my mind off it. It was quite depressing. The game was scheduled to be attended by my father.”
The NBA star’s special bond with his mother
When Kawhi Leonard was at the young age of 16, Mark Leonard was shot and killed at the car wash he owned in Compton.
Although he spent most of his childhood living with his mother in Moreno Valley, east of L.A, with the loss of his father figure, Kim Leonard was the need to look after her son closely and with more responsibility.
She contacted ahead to make sure that grownups were there when he went to friends’ houses.
When he protested, “Mom, you’re the only one who calls,” she responded, saying, “Perhaps I’m the only one who cares.”
Similarly, when Kawhi refused to show his grief, Kim Leonard made sure to comfort her son, letting him know it’s okay to cry.
Everyone has their way of expressing love. Also, Leonard is seen expressing his love by reminding his mother to get into fitness sports.
Kim Leonard believes that the nagging of her son was his way of telling her to take care of herself.
Kawhi was chosen by the Pacers and promptly traded to San Antonio after two years at San Diego State, and Kim moved in with him.
His room was on the second floor, while hers was on the first. After moving in together, the mother and son shared bonding activities in their free time. First, they engaged in a game of Jenga. Then, they had enchiladas for dinner.
He eventually moved out in January, at the age of 23. He found a smaller house 10 minutes away and gave the larger one to his mother.
The NBA star Kawhi Leonard: Childhood and Family
Kawhi Leonard, the NBA star, was born on 29 June 1991 to his mother, Kim Robertson, and father, Mark Leonard. Likewise, he has four sisters and is the youngest among his siblings.
Kawhi’s father’s ancestors are from the United States, while his maternal ancestors are from Africa.
In California, he was reared alongside his older sisters, Miesha Slayton, Kimesha Monae Williams, and two more about whom nothing is known.
Even though Leonard’s parents were divorced when he was young, none of his parents abandoned him.
Basketball and football served to enhance Father-Son relationships by allowing them to share a shared passion in sports.
Education and Career Buildup
Kawhi Leonard attended Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, California, until his junior year, when he transferred to Martin Luther King High School.
In his senior year, Kawhi was given the title California Mr. Basketball ear after averaging 22.6 points, 13.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and three blocks per game.
Later in 2009-10, Kawhi Leonard attended San Diego State University. There, he had an average of 12.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game for the Aztecs.
He guided the squad to a 25–9 record and the championship of the Mountain West Conference (MWC).
Therefore, the Aztecs were given an automatic invitation to the NCAA Tournament, but they lost to Tennessee in the first round, 62–59, with Leonard scoring 12 points and grabbing ten rebounds.
With such achievements, Leonard was voted MWC Freshman of the Year, First Team All-MWC, and 2010 MWC Tournament MVP after leading the MWC in rebounding.
After being picked to the All-America Second Team, Leonard departed San Diego State to pursue the 2011 NBA Draft.
A Dive into NBA Career
San Antonio Spurs
The Indiana Pacers selected Kawhi Leonard 15th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft; however, he was eventually traded to the San Antonio Spurs.
He was picked to compete in the 2012 Rising challenge in his rookie season and finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year vote.
Kawhi Leonard was the driving force behind the San Antonio Spurs’ victory over the Miami Heat.
Despite experiencing a hazy vision, Leonard continued to play in the 2014-2015 season until being sidelined indefinitely due to infections in his right eye.
In the 2016-2017 season, Kawhi Leonard signed a five-year contract deal with the Spurs.
However, by the end of the 2017 season and the beginning of the 2018 season, he could not achieve most of his goals due to injuries.
In June 2018, rumors arose suggesting Leonard had sought a trade from the Spurs, following months of friction between his camp and the Spurs over his injury recovery program.
On July 18, Leonard was dealt with the Toronto Raptors in exchange for other players and a protected 2019 first-round lottery selection.
Despite being a new team member, Kawhi Leonard‘s first season with the Raptors was notable.
After guiding the Raptors to their first NBA finals in December, he was awarded Player of the Week.
Leonard demonstrated his quality as an A-rated basketball player in the NBA finals, assisting the Toronto Raptors in a 4–2 series triumph over the Golden State Warriors, resulting in the team’s first title.
Similarly, for the second time, he was honored with the title of NBA Finals MVP.
Los Angeles Clippers
On July 10, 2019, Kawhi Leonard agreed to a three-year, $103 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, including an opt-out option in 2021.
With outstanding performance and achievements, he was given the Western Conference Player of the Week title for January 13-19, 2020.
Similarly, in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, he was also voted NBA All-Star MVP.
Kawhi Leonard Personal Life
Leonard is now dating his long-time girlfriend Kishele Shipley, whom he has been dating since 2014.
In July 2016, the couple gave birth to their first child, a beautiful daughter, Kaliyah Leonard.
After three years, in 2019, the couple welcomed their second child, a son.
Despite having known a lot about Kawhi Leonard, not much is known about his children. This is because he has kept his children away from the public’s eyes.
Kawhi Leonard: Net Worth
The American professional basketball player has a net worth of $80 million. Most of Kawhi’s earnings are due to his primary career as a professional basketball player.
With a basic salary of $39.3 million, Kawhi Leonard is one of the top ten highest-paid players in the NBA.
Every year, he makes millions more through endorsements. Kawhi Leonard made $150 million in NBA salaries during his first decade in the league.
Rumor has it, Leonard inked a multi-year endorsement contract with New Balance, a global sports footwear and clothing company, in 2018.
He had previously signed with Nike’s affiliate, the Air Jordan brand.
Kawhi Leonard: Social Media
Despite their stardom, Kawhi Leonard is a private and quiet person. Unlike most well-known personals, he is not seen consuming social media.
For the first time, Leonard went live on May 3, 2021, on Instagram with his high school basketball player, Mikey Williams.
His recent post on Instagram is about his appearance in the famous singer Drake’s music video.
Click below to give him a follow and to know about his updates.
Instagram: 202k followers with 285 followings
Twitter: 475.9k followers with 6 followings
Where does Kawhi Leonard live?
Although there is not much information, it is believed Kawhi spent $17 million on a house in the Pacific Palisades district of Los Angeles in March 2021.
Was Kim Leonard’s daughter charged?
Kim Leonard’s daughter, Kimesha Monae Williams, age 35, was accused of robbing and killing an 84-year-old woman in a casino in Southern California on September 7, 2019.