By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky basketball fans already know plenty about signee Tyrese Maxey’s offensive skills and his defensive prowess. The Texas guard is a consensus top 10 player in the 2019 recruiting class and UK coach John Calipari has already been raving about his decision-making ability.
However, did you know that Maxey also loves superheroes. Just ask his mother, Denyse Maxey.
“When he is not playing basketball and not playing PlayStation and Fortnite, then he’s really into superheroes. Ironman, Spiderman, Avengers. He just loves superheroes. We can watch movies all day,” she said. “He will watch those superhero movies over and over. Actually, that’s our time together.
“We can watch a movie, get ice cream. His dad does not like for him to do that, but if he has a rough day or a game that does not turn out as favorable as we hoped, then we will jump in the car and go get ice cream. I let him talk and vent.”
He vented a lot in middle school when his parents decided he should give up football to concentrate on basketball and his studies. His mother says he’s “really good” at math.
“I don’t know that he really enjoys math, but it just comes easy for him,” she said. “I am really working with him on trying to help him learn better study habits so he’ll be better prepared for college. At this point he doesn’t have to do a lot of studying. It just comes naturally to him but thankfully he really does enjoy math.”
Obviously, he’s also really good at basketball to be a consensus top 10 player in the 2019 recruiting class. His father is part of the South Garland High School coaching staff and he does a lot of strength and conditioning work with his son.
“That is their deal. I just try to stay the mom,” Denyse Maxey said. “I am not the mom that knows all the stats and particulars of the game. I just try to nurture my son and make sure he eats and sleeps the way he should and does what he needs to be successful.
“Sometimes I have to stand in between him and his father and be the referee. But for the most part we are just a typical family. I wish I could say we never have a disagreement but we do know our roles. My role is not to train or interfere with what he does basketball-wise. My role is to cheer and be mom. I accept that role and do not want it to be anything different.”
That “mom” role is one reason she’s president of the Parent Teacher Student Association. She actually started the high school booster club and helped write the bylaws and get them approved. She’s vice-president of fundraising for the booster club.
“It’s a lot of work but it is so gratifying to help parents guide their children,” she said. “I believe for kids to be successful it starts at home. It helps me be a better person. I would not spend all that time doing anything if it was not gratifying to me.
“I try to make sure the entire basketball program gets fed. People help with (buying) uniforms and training materials. I focus on meals and maybe banquets and sometimes little trinkets for the boys here and there. When I started, I was doing the meals myself. Last year we got funding from some places to supply the meals. I was calling parents for spaghetti, sandwiches, Gatorade. Last year we were able to tap into some things and get more food items so I didn’t have to do as much.”
Like a lot of high school basketball parents, she has spent a lot of time during games working in concession stands. That forces her to miss watching game action a lot during home games.
“This year is better because we raised more money for the program and I can actually watch games,” she said. “But even then I like to move around. I get nervous when I am watching games. If he (Tyrese) does something crazy, I prefer to be watching and not have to hear about it from someone else.”