Derrick Favors is an Atlanta native and current NBA player for the Utah Jazz. When Favors isn’t putting in work as a power forward on the court, he is looking after his 10-month-old twin girls at home. Just in time for Father’s Day, Favors talked with us about what being a father is like for him, managing time, and growing his game.
Your twin daughters are still very young, what has the transition to fatherhood been like for you?
It’s been a huge change in my life. When you bring kids in to the world it’s a big responsibility, you’re responsible for taking care of those kids and providing for the kids and whatnot. It’s been a huge change in my life; it’s been a great experience for me. I’m excited to go on this journey with them.
What would you say is the most challenging part of being a professional athlete while also being a father to two babies?
For me, the most challenging thing is time. Being a professional athlete takes a lot of time out of your social life [and] your personal life. I do want to be there for my kids all the time but I do have a job to do though. I think the biggest challenge for me is just time, especially during the season.
You were raised by your mother. Deandra Favors, how would you say growing up in a single-parent household has made you the person you are today?
That’s what makes me want to be with my kids even more because I grew up in a single-parent household and didn’t have a father around so I want to be there for my kids no matter what. My mom, she had a challenging job raising three kids on her own and having to work at the same time, you know that shows me a lot. It shows me how hard she worked, how much she cared about us and I want to do the same thing for my kids. No matter what, I always want to be there for them.
What is your favorite part about being a father?
My favorite part about being a father is playing toys with them, or watching movies with them, really just playing around with them. They bring a lot of joy in to my life, even when I’m having a bad day. Just to come home and see them smiling brings so much joy to my life.
How different does it feel now being a father compared to this time last year?
Last year they weren’t born yet. This year the biggest difference is [my] schedule revolves around them. You have to put them to sleep at a certain time and when they wake up, you have to get up and you’ve got to feed them. You have to do all the stuff that comes with being a parent, but it’s fun and I enjoy it.
What plans do you have for Father’s Day this year?
As of right now, I have no idea. I know I’m going to be with them but I don’t know what we are going to do. I’ll probably just spend the whole day with them.
Can you give us a rundown of what an average day is like for you with you daughters?
My girlfriend does most of the work because, you know, I have to work out. I don’t want to take most of the credit. My average day, they’re up at six in the morning and I’m still asleep. Once I get up I go in and I play with them, before I go workout I play with them, watch TV with them. I say goodbye to them and go work out and when I come back they’re usually asleep. If they’re up then I usually help my girlfriend feed them and put them to sleep. Like I said, my schedule revolves around them.
You being from Atlanta I’d like to talk about that a little…What was the transition like moving from Atlanta to Utah?
It was a huge difference. Atlanta is a bigger city, there’s more people here, different cultures, there is just a lot more to do here. Going out to Utah it kind of slows down, it’s kind of a small city where I am, not that big. It’s just a big culture shock; they do things a little different out there than they do in Atlanta. It took me a while to get used to it, but I got used to it.
What do you miss most about Atlanta?
I miss a lot of things about Atlanta, the food; I miss the food that’s in Atlanta. I miss the culture, there’s a big culture down here with the art and the music. I miss just being in the city Atlanta, it’s my home and I love it, but I also have a job to do out in Utah.
How would you say Georgia Tech prepared you for the NBA?
It prepared me well. That one year I spent at Georgia Tech, it helped me really learn about my body and learn a lot about the game of basketball. It helped me prepare my body [and] my mind for the NBA.
You’ve been around the NBA for a few years now — primarily with the Utah Jazz) — what was your favorite game and why?
My favorite game with Utah was probably when we made the playoffs a couple years ago, that was my first time making the playoffs. That was a big accomplishment for me and for the team. That was just one of those moments that you want to get back to, so that’s what I’m working [towards], getting back to the playoffs.
How would you say your game has improved over the last five years?
My game has improved a lot, especially on the offensive end. Just by developing more moves on the offensive side of the ball, developing a consistent jump shot, really getting aggressive on the offensive [and] defensive end. Just [by] being more active [and] communicating a lot more, I’m becoming a better team player.