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Media mogul Shaunie Henderson boldly takes charge of her destiny

Mom of 5 charts her transformation and triumph in ‘Undefeated’
Image by The Britto Agency

Reality show pioneer Shaunie Henderson is an exceptionally brilliant entrepreneur with an eye for talent and a remarkable sense of timing. The first “Basketball Wives” superstar and ex-wife of NBA great Shaquille O’Neal didn’t shy from the cameras during her legendary husband’s reign on the basketball court, and she boldly committed herself to spotlighting the spouses and significant others of the crème de la crème of professional athletes — throughout the run of those relationships.

While the 5-foot-7 stunner could have paled in the shadow of her larger-than-life 7-foot-1 ex, Henderson determined that she would help to ensure the women behind these giants in sport didn’t fade to black in their shadows.

Henderson is a natural talent, an undeniable beauty, a savvy businesswoman and a legitimate influencer. She’s a winner and author of what is sure to become a New York Times bestseller, Undefeated: Changing the Rules and Winning on My Own Terms.

Please share your motivation for writing a book.

I wrote a book because I know that my story can help somebody feel exactly how I want the reader to feel when they finish this book, and that is undefeated. I know that my journey can relate to any and everybody. There’s something in this book that I promise will encourage you, empower you, inspire you to take challenges in life, and decide to make them into opportunities.

How can women feel undefeated?

Because there were so many obstacles that I faced that I really did feel defeated and felt like, Oh my God! What am I gonna do now? But it was the decision I made, the drive of knowing there is a purpose within me. and some goals that I wanna meet, and five children that I looked at every day and realized that I want them to see me as more than just mom. I want them to see me as an inspiring individual in their lives outside of just being mommy.

It’s finding that purpose and I think that that’s exactly what the book is, is sharing my journey, in hopes that I encourage the next person to know that there is no bottom that you can’t lift yourself out of and be undefeated.

You have been through a divorce. What would you say to women, especially those with children, who are facing divorce?

… We talk about faith all the time, but until you put it into action, it’s just talk. Going through divorce is so, so, so very hard. Going through divorce with children is even harder but there is a silver lining. There is a, “It’s gonna be OK.” Are you feeling it in the midst of? Absolutely not. And again, I share that I think it’s a perception of my divorce experience that the world has, that’s not reality, and I share that in the book. So, my obstacles of divorce were more than just infidelity. It was more than just, “Oh we’re not getting along.”

I realized that I didn’t have a purpose. I didn’t have a Shaunie thing outside of being a mother, outside of being this wife. What do I have? Where am I being fed from? Outside of this other human being that I’ve been dependent on for the last 10 years. I figured all these things out in the moment, but I chose my peace, and my peace meant more to me than anything. My peace is what made me a better mother, a better daughter, a better friend, and I wouldn’t change any part of my journey for anything, because it’s absolutely shaped me into the woman that I am today.

You have built an enviable brand. What would you say to someone who aspires to build a brand but doesn’t think it’s their moment?

Absolutely, because some people need to own, sometimes it isn’t your time. It’s not your time all the time, but you have to know that, and you have to be consistently working at the moment that it is your time. It’s one of those things where you learn these things as you get older. You look at the next person, you’re like; why them? Why not me? Are you putting in the work? I think God definitely has a plan for everyone, but sometimes he doesn’t give you the things, because you’re just not ready for them yet. So, be aware of that. Be aware of the work that you need to do, so that God can hand you that plan and that journey when you’re ready for it, but he’s not going to give it to you until then.

What did you learn about yourself while writing Undefeated?

Well, I think I learned that I’m tougher than I actually thought I was. I think when I actually started writing it, I was like, you know what? You’re not giving yourself as much credit as you should. You really did that, or you really beat that? Or you really took that challenge and chose to find the good in it, or turn it into an opportunity. I had to really look outside myself, at myself. And I honestly can say I am the happiest, most joyful person, and in the happiest place I’ve ever been in life right now.

So again, I just wouldn’t change a thing. And to all the mothers and daughters, this book has so many levels and so many versions of myself that moms, daughters, even sons, can find something in it, just to encourage them and inspire them. … I talk about the relationship with my kids. I talk about raising them. So, I really believe that [there] is something for everybody, and it will show you to just keep pushing — like never, ever give up, it’s never too late, and know you need to do the work to get yourself prepared for when it is your time.

Media mogul Shaunie Henderson boldly takes charge of her destiny
Image by The Britto Agency

What will readers learn about finding love after divorce from the book?

Well, in the book I talk about my journey to meeting my current husband, and how I needed to go through all the things that I went through. So that I was ready for the reward, and I honestly, truly believe that my husband [Pastor Keion Henderson, founder of The Lighthouse Church] is my reward. I mean not only him as an individual, but everything that comes with him, which is a church and a community that I absolutely love, and brings me so much joy.

And I think that, it had to happen the way it happened for me to be where I am right now. I’m thankful and appreciate the tears, the pain, the sweat, all of that. I appreciate it. I can sit back now and say that. OK, I see why I did [that]. … I see why I felt that, so that when I got here I was prepared to be a partner. I was prepared to be a wife. I was prepared to be quiet when I needed to be quiet, I was prepared to speak up and support and correct out of love and help lead out of love. I had to go through all of those things to be able to maturely be in a place where I can handle and juggle and balance and enjoy life right now.

What do you love about being a mother?

There’s nothing, nothing like it. I was just talking to a young lady who is also a mom, and she said, “Hey, does it get easier? Your kids are grown and they’re living their life.” And I said, I don’t know. I don’t think easier is the word, because you never stop “momming.” You never stop trying to protect, you never stop trying to fix things for them. But I think, as moms, we do the best we can, and that’s all our children need and want from us. … These kids grow [up] so fast, but I encourage every mom to keep doing what they’re doing. Keep showing up.

Happy Mother’s Day to you.

Thank you.

Images by The Britto Agency

2 Responses

  1. I applaud any go-getter BOSS female. I take serious issue with methods used to achieve success. “Basketball Ball Wives” is intellectual, spiritual & cultural garbage! Shaunie allowed bad, horrible behavior to prevail unchecked. Now she rides that coattail! In life, you should look closely at what you did to get where you are & take accountability.

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