And One +Diploma: NBA Veteran Gary Payton II Surprises Mom, Earns College Degree

Gary Payton II, the son of legendary NBA point guard Gary Payton, has added yet another achievement under his belt. The Golden State Warrior player shocked his mother, Monique James, when he presented his degree from Oregon State to her in person before the Warriors played the Sacramento Kings in Game 6 of their first-round playoffs series. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gary Payton II (@garypaytondaily)

“I was so surprised!!!” Monique Payton told the Associated Press via text message. “I had no idea he was going to complete his degree! I had forgotten all about it! Thank God he didn’t forget or break his promise!”

Monique received a text message with a picture of his human development and family science degree. 

The 30-year-old who helped the Warriors win an NBA championship last year wanted to get the degree for a special reason

“It’s really for Mom,” Payton said. “I made her a promise to get it done and finished when I left school, so just keeping my word and got that to her. Hope you enjoy it, love it, and it was for you.”

Payton’s superstar teammate Stephen Curry completed his college degree years after leaving college to join the NBA. Even head coach Steve Kerr was just as excited to see him complete that promise for his mother.

“We have a lot of guys who are really committed to the game but committed to themselves and trying to better themselves and do things in the community and try to impact the Bay Area,” Kerr said.

“For Gary to get his diploma, Steph to do that last year, it’s all part of sort of that process of continuing to grow and evolve as people. So I’m very proud of him.”

Along with Payton’s’ college degree, the Warriors beat the Kings yesterday afternoon to advance to the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

RELATED CONTENTGilbert Arenas Feels His Basketball Skills Were Better Than Steph Curry’s When He Was Younger