Every father has a dream for their child and Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard, Glenn Robinson III is striving to be the ultimate girl dad to his two-year-old daughter, Ariana.
“My dream for my daughter is to create a strong foundation, make sure she grows up with the right morals and stands for the right things. I want to be her first love. I want to be an example so that when she does find a boyfriend or gets married, she knows what to look for in a partner. I think that’s my job as her father is to protect her and give her genuine love.”
Aside from being an active force in his daughter’s upbringing, the role of fatherhood has become the motivation behind his personal and professional achievements. Ensuring he creates an indelible impact outside of the league while solidifying his family legacy, the 26-year-old established the ARI Foundation, named after his baby girl and stands for Angels are Real Indeed. Its mission is, “Helping fathers become better in fatherhood and helping families without one.”
“When I started the foundation, I would type and search on Google ways to help fathers or things for fathers to do with their kids. There’s not a lot of places that we can go to seek that help. I’ve done a lot of research on co-parenting, being a father, and a girl dad. We have to know our worth in our daughters’ or sons’ lives because no matter what happens in the relationship, that child should grow up with both parents. It takes two to make a child, and fathers are just as important as mothers.”
BlackLove.com caught up with the NBA star to chat about healthy co-parenting, therapeutic practices to create emotional, and mental wellness, the importance of embracing vulnerability and becoming the ultimate girl dad.
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BlackLove.com: You’ve stated your daughter changed you and your relationships with family and women. Can you speak more specifically to that point?
Glenn Robinson III: Having a girl changes every man’s life, but especially to women, to our mother, to our next relationship, or our current one. As you watch your seed develop, it opens your eyes, and you begin to see yourself in your child. It’s indescribable. I hadn’t experienced this type of growth in my life since I had my daughter. She’s been my biggest blessing, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything.
I always said I wanted just one child, and I thought I would have a son. With having a girl, I’m doing different things out of my element. Tony Gaskins explained to me the time spent with your daughter, you’re the lamb. When you’re on the court, you’re the lion. Men sometimes struggle to make that distinctive switch with turning it on and off.
BL.com: How do you take the necessary steps to get to a place of healthy co-parenting?
GR: I’ll be the first to say we don’t have the best relationship, but it’s getting better. It’s work. I take strides every day to know it’s for Ariana’s [my daughter] betterment, and it’s not about our past relationship. I know if my daughter is growing up with me not around, that it will affect her in many ways. Ultimately, my daughter will be the one suffering.
I’ve read some books, and I talk to therapists. When I spoke with Tony Gaskins, he said the biggest thing is men fight a battle spiritually within. It’s no one else, and it’s not between anyone else. We fight a battle in ourselves spiritually; we’re always fighting, and we have to get out of it. He talks about creating a season for yourself and making a choice to cut toxicity out of your life to get out of this space.