Schea Cotton Brother James Cotton: Age Gap And Family Tree

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Schea Cotton and his older brother James Cotton are former basketball players whose names echoed nationwide in the 1980s.

Even if they had high school hypes for being potentially talented players, neither could leave a significant mark as a pro.

In fact, despite being more skilled than his former NBA player brother James, Schea didn’t get an entry into the NBA.

Schea Cotton, A Former Basketball Player Who Didn't Get To Play In The NBA
Schea Cotton, A Former Basketball Player Who Didn’t Get To Play In The NBA (Source: Instagram) 

A native of Inglewood, California, Cotton was a highly touted high school basketball player at St. John Bosco High School and then at Mater Dei High School.

Probably, it was due to his physique (height of 6 feet 4 inches and weighing 220 lbs) combined with outstanding athletic skills. By 13, he was throwing dunks and won dunk contests at 14.

Vernon Scheavalie, aka Schea, then played collegiate basketball at Long Beach City College (1998-99) and the University of Alabama (1999-2000).

Forgoing his two years of college eligibility, Cotton declared for the 2000 NBA draft but went undrafted.

It depressed him to the point that he had thoughts of suicide before his girlfriend and family convinced him. 

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the NBA stars from his era, state that his gameplay still lives on their minds. Moreover, Garnett even referred to Cotton as Lebron before LeBron James.

Later, Schea spent ten years bouncing around France, China, Yugoslavia, and Venezuela. Now, he is the CEO of Schea Cotton Basketball Academy.

Schea Cotton Brother, James Cotton: What Is Their Age Gap?

Born on May 20, 1978, Schea is the youngest of two children. He has an older brother, James Cotton, who is also a former basketball player like him.

James was born on December 14, 1975, and is 48 years old as of 2024. The Cotton brothers have an age gap of two years and five months.

His older brother doesn’t make media appearances these days.

In a 2016 interview with USA Today, he addressed his younger brother Schea’s phenomenal basketball abilities. He stated that if social media existed in their time, his brother ‘would have gone pro out of junior high.’

Cotton's Older Brother James With His Wife, Tamara
Cotton’s Older Brother, James With His Wife, Tamara (Source: Facebook)

James Wesley Cotton Jr. is a married man and lives with his wife, Tamara Cotton. According to the latter’s Facebook post, they married in August 2015.

His wife, Tamara, is a real estate agent at Wesley Homes and Financial. On the other, James’ current profession is not out.

During college, he was a shooting guard at Long Beach State (1993–1997).

Then, he became the 2nd round pick of the Denver Nuggets in the 1997 NBA draft before they transferred the rights to the Seattle Supersonics.

With the Supersonics, Cotton Jr. played two seasons before his trade to the Chicago Bulls for Brent Barry. Subsequently, the Bulls waived him, which ended his NBA career & eventually his basketball journey.

Schea Cotton’s Family Tree

The former basketball player was born as one of two children to African-American parents, Gaynell Cotton and James Cotton Sr.

Reportedly, his father was a contractor/construction worker who died in 2014.

His late father had named Schea after singer Maurice Chevalier. However, after kids found it difficult to pronounce “Chevalier,” his name turned out to be “Schea.”

In 1990, Cotton’s family moved from San Pedro, California, to Cypress, South California,  due to gang concerns.

Schea Cotton With His Mother And Older Brother
Schea Cotton With His Mother And Older Brother (Source: Instagram)

Shea’s parents were very supportive of his passion for basketball.

When the NCAA stopped his college enrollment, disallowing his SAT scores, his family sued the NCAA in September 1998 for targeting Cotton without any wrongdoing.

The case was settled after four months, and subsequently, he got a college basketball scholarship at the University of Alabama.

Cotton Has A Daughter

Shea Cotton is yet to speak if he has a wife or girlfriend. But he is the father of a daughter, Chole.

In an April 2020 interview with Bardo’s Breakdown, the former basketball player mentioned his daughter and stated she was into athletics.

Moreover, he added that he and his baby mama were no longer together, “I’m not with the mother.”

Cotton With His Daughter Chloe
Cotton With His Daughter Chloe (Source: Instagram)

Cotton’s daughter, Chloe, is an attendant at Downey High School in Downey, California.

In his Instagram post of June 2022, he posted a picture with his baby girlfriend and congratulated her on her 8th-grade graduation.

Krishna Pandey
Krishna Pandey

Krishna Pandey

Krishna Pandey is a versatile writer with a passion for exploring the diverse and dynamic world of sports. His articles offer readers a captivating blend of sports analysis, human interest stories, and cultural insights, providing a holistic view of the athletes and events that shape the sports landscape.


Cultural Perspectives Athlete Spotlights


  • Krishna explores the cultural significance of sports, examining how athletics intersect with identity, community, and social change.
  • He shines a spotlight on athletes from diverse backgrounds.


Krishna's passion for sports journalism is fueled by a love of competition and a desire to uncover the stories that lie beneath the surface of the sports world. With a background in writing and a keen interest in sports sociology, he brings a multidisciplinary approach to his writing, exploring the complex intersections of sports, culture, and society.

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