The moms behind K-State men’s basketball

Men’s basketball moms LaTanya Stokes (left), Tracia Richmond (left center), Trish Wade (right center) and Erica Sneed (right) pose in San Jose, California, as they watch the K-State Wildcats play in the NCAA Tournament. (Molly Hackett | Collegian Media Group)

For many mothers, watching their children play sports as they grow up is something that stops after high school graduation. But for these moms, it is something that has continued far past that as they watched their sons play basketball at Kansas State University.

Four of K-State’s star players had their moms travel to San Jose, California, to watch them play in the NCAA Tournament.

Senior forward Dean Wade was fortunate enough to play in his home state, allowing his parents to see almost all of his games. Dean’s mom, Trish Wade, said she has been especially thankful for this.

“Well, that was his dream, and of course we’ve always been K-State [fans] … and especially when he decided to make that journey, we were very excited,” Trish said. “To have him play in your own home state, that’s just something very special, and people get to share that love of a Kansas boy, which is really awesome. I’m very, very thankful and feel blessed that he had that opportunity.”

For other moms, it has been more of a sacrifice. Erica Sneed, junior forward Xavier Sneed’s mom, said she has given up a lot to support her son.

“I suffer from chronic migraines, but I go to every game,” Erica said. “I go to everything because even when he was younger, I would take him to every practice, every game, every tournament even though I had a migraine. People would ask, ‘How are you sitting here with a migraine with all of this noise?’ I’m like, ‘As a mom, there are just some things you have to do.’”

Erica also added that she gives freely and willingly of herself because she wants Xavier to have more opportunities than she did at his age, and she said she is willing to do whatever it takes to support him.

That support has not been achieved alone; it has taken all of these moms together to help support not only their sons, but each other as well.

LaTanya Stokes, senior guard Kamau Stokes’ mom, said Trish has been a huge factor in developing their little support group.

“She is always texting us [and] keeping us motivated when we are not here,” LaTanya said. “She embraces our children as mothers would do, so we appreciate her for that.”

LaTanya said being from Maryland makes it really hard for her to get to all of the games, but Kamau is still very appreciative of her support.

“Ah man, my family has been a big part of my success,” Kamau said. “Even getting me to college, they have been a big part of my success. Being able to fly out to games and seeing them in the stands means a lot to me.”

While playing as a Wildcat is over for most of these guys, Tracia Richmond, senior guard Barry Brown’s mom, said the players “have built a special bond” and that the best part of the season has been “watching them grow.”

Hi, I'm Molly Hackett and I graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in broadcast journalism in May 2020. When I worked for the Collegian, I had a variety of different jobs, including managing editor and sports editor. Additionally, I served a one year term on the Collegian Media Group Board of Directors. I also worked for KKSU-TV and appeared as an anchor on MHK All Day during my final semester at K-State. In my free time, I like to spend time with the people closest to me, travel, drink coffee and take naps.