She’s busy starring in the Starz drama Power and managing her Lord & Taylor clothing collection, but this Puerto Rican mama won’t skip her 11-year-old son Kiyan’s basketball games.
How is raising Kiyan in the public eye?
He lives a normal life, but there are things we watch closely, because of who his parents are. [His dad is NBA star Carmelo Anthony.] For example, he doesn’t go to the corner store by himself, because people often recognize him. And we keep his social-media accounts very private.
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What kind of kid is he?
He’s an incredible basketball player, so his day is very full and structured. He’s on such a tight schedule with school and his games, and he’s learning to be disciplined, so there’s not a lot of free time to just mouth off and do whatever he wants.
What values do you want to instill in him?
I just want him to be humble and grateful. He prays every day to thank God. I’m all about manners, too, so a kid who says “please” and “thank you” is a big thing to me. Family is also important. Every day he calls his grandmother just to see how she’s doing.
What moments are most challenging as a mom?
I don’t want my son to feel like his mom is never available. When I’m away working, I tell him to make a list of all the things he wants to do when I return. I never spend a lot of time away from him. If I had to cancel work, I would.
How do you make sure he steers clear of machismo?
I always tell Kiyan how he should treat women—how we are all equal and that women are just as smart as, if not smarter than, men.
How big is your family?
My family is huge! I have so many aunts and uncles, cousins, people who aren’t related but say they are—it just goes on and on. We’re spread out between cities, but we’re always doing things together, so Kiyan knows everyone. One summer I took my family on a cruise to Puerto Rico—34 of us on a boat for a week!
La La's Biggest Favorites
- Her Huge Family. My family is super close. Growing up, my cousins were my best friends. Friends can come and go, but your family will be there forever.
- Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Maria hit the island, I launched a T-shirt line through Lord & Taylor to raise money for Puerto Rico. I wanted Kiyan to know we have to do as much as we can to help those in need.
- Being a New Yorker. I’m from Brooklyn, and I love that I’m raising Kiyan in New York too. He is exposed to so much, because you grow up with a certain kind of independence here.