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Meet Gary Payton II’s mother Monique, a 'basketball star in her own right'

Joshua Rogers April 22, 2022
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ESPN reported today that a “lifelong struggle” paved the way for Gary Payton II’s success with the Golden State Warriors, and introduced fans of the point guard to his mother. What do we know about Monique Payton?

Meet Gary Payton II’s mother Monique

Gary Payton II gets his name – and likely some of his talent – from his father. Gary Payton Sr was one of the greatest point guards of all time.

But, Andscape writer Marc Spears argues, in terms of his athleticism, speed and ability to dunk, “it’s actually like mother, like son”.

As a young woman, Monique Payton was running track and doing high jump and long jump. “It just makes sense.” She was “the most athletic in her class”, Spears adds, and “a basketball star in her own right”.

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Gary Payton II’s mother played basketball for Skyline High School in Oakland, California, and ran 100 metres, 200 metres, and hurdles. 

“I had the highest vertical leap amongst the girls in high school,” Monique told the outlet last year. “And I was the fastest. So when we did up and back [running exercises], I was the fastest. Always first.”

What does she do now?

Monique Payton is a flight attendant, based in Las Vegas.

In a 2020 interview with Gal Pal, she spoke at length about her marriage to NBA legend Gary Payton, and the three children she bore him: daughter Raquel and sons Gary and Julian (pictured below).

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“Every day I tell each one of them how much I love them”, she said. “They have told me that I can be overbearing, but that’s OK.”

She’s an artist and podcaster, too. As of 2020, at least, she was working on her podcast Outta Pocket Show.

“I feel like I feel like I am 35”, she said. “I have a young spirit, I try to live my life to the best of my ability.”

How old was Monique when she had Gary Payton II?

Monique started dating Gary Payton while they were both in high school, meaning they’re likely of a similar age. He’s 53, having been born in 1968. 

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They married in July 1997, at what Spokane’s Spokesman-Review called a “lavish ceremony”. 400-500 people were in attendance. 

Born 1 December 1992, Gary Payton II is 29 years old at time of writing. Monique was likely in her early to mid 20s when she gave birth to him; Raquel is five years older, Julian five years younger.

Monique and Gary divorced 15 years later, in 2012.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.