The official social media mother of the Toronto Raptors has officially passed her torch.
With Kyle Lowry heading down to Miami this year, there’s been a changing of the guard within Raptors Twitter. Marie Hollaway, Lowry’s mother, hopped on a call Wednesday afternoon with Wendy Sparks, Khem Birch’s mother, to hand over the official title of Raptors social media mother.
“She gave me all her blessings,” Sparks joked. “I am more than ready.”
Sparks, or @wensparks on Twitter, is going to do things a little bit differently than her predecessor. There won’t be as many “and-one!” tweets, but there will be plenty of humor and truth, she said, just like Hollaway used to share.
A lifelong Raptors fan, Sparks is more than ready to take over the mantle of Raptors social media mother. She has an appreciation for Raptors fandom and how intense their love for the Raptors can be.
“I just love how they love the team. They’re so bonafide to their players, everything for them is a success for the Toronto Raptors and to me that is so meaningful,” Sparks said. “For me as a Raptors mom and also a Raptors fan for years, this is definitely a community that I was excited to be a part of.”
To her, being involved in Raptors Twitter is just the natural extension of everything else she’s always done as Birch’s mother. Back when he was growing up she was the mother who organized things, chatted with other parents, and made sure that everyone was taken care of. Today, she’s the same way. She’s constantly talking with other NBA mothers, either on her podcast, Court-side Moms where she interviews the mothers of NBA and WNBA players, or at meetings and get-togethers with the other NBA mothers.
It’s a sorority, Sparks said. NBA mothers are constantly looking out for one another and their children, passing on stories about the best agents, best financial advisors, and who is safe to trust. It’s a learning process for new NBA mothers and at times it can be scary.
“Keep your circle very small,” Sparks said. “As a mom, you gotta know how to weed out people and for me that is so important and that’s something I tell every parent.”
That is, of course, with the exception of other NBA mothers, Sparks joked. Mothers are always welcome in the inner circle. They’re the secret support system behind the players, happy to help out with whatever is needed in every city in the NBA footprint.
“One mom said to me, ‘when Khem comes to L.A. if he just needs a hug, I’ll give him a hug,'” Sparks said. “I laughed and said ‘that’s creepy, but yeah, I’ll tell him.'”
It’s these stories and Sparks’ knowledge of everything that goes on behind the scenes that makes her such a unique presence on social media. Unlike so many other mothers who prefer to stay quiet on social media, Sparks is happy to interact with fans, share stories, and have fun wading through the toxicity that is sports Twitter.
So while Lowry and Hollaway may be gone, Toronto can rest assured the title of Raptors Twitter mother is still in very good hands.