Written by Twan's Mother Kathy
Antawn's father and I ran a very strict household when Antawn was growing up. We weren't mean, but we were very strict. He'll be the first to tell you. We've always been a very religious family - we made sure he was in church every Sunday.
Antawn was a very big kid growing up. He was always the tallest kid in his class and usually one of the skinniest. He was a very fat baby though! He was so chubby. When he was about three he thinned out and has been skinny since then. He probably hit his first big growth spurt when he was 12 years old. When he was in the ninth grade, he really started growing.
People might not know this, but Antawn is a major junk food addict! He was and is always still eating junk food. He used to get candy, cookies and honey buns and hide them in his room under his bed. (Eating junk food) That was his only hobby other than playing basketball. He always stayed out of trouble. He never got into any fights with anyone other than his sister. I don't really remember, but she'll tell you that Twan used to hit her for nothing. She said that she was always getting the
beating for something that Antawn always started.
He's always been very mature and mannerable. We always taught him to say 'yes sir'and 'yes maam.' I'm proud to say that he listened to us and that he still uses good manners. He always wanted to play basketball growing up. I can remember when he was two or three years old, he had one of those little adjustable basketball goals with the little styrofoam balls and was always playing with it more than anything else. He's always had a basketball goal of some kind around - out in the yard or in the house. When he got up to Quail Hollow, he played football. He was a quarterback there for about two years. He really enjoyed it. His team did okay, but they did much better in basketball.
He attended high school at Providence High, in Charlotte, NC. I think he had a pretty good time in high school. He was always the center of attention. I think it may have bothered his high school girlfriends sometimes, but he seemed to enjoy it.
Antawn wasn't really in many clubs growing up that I can remember. He was just always really interested in playing basketball. I can't think of any really memorable games that Antawn played in high school because I didn't attend a single one of them. I couldn't go. The games made me nervous and my stomach queasy and I couldn't stand it. Antawn's father went to every one of them and recorded them. When he got home from the game, I would always watch them on tape.
He started getting major interests from colleges to play basketball when he was a sophomore in high school. He had boxes and boxes of letters from colleges that were interested in him. I really didn't know much about the schools that were interested in him so its tough to say I had a preference for any particular college I wanted him to attend.
I just wanted to make sure that Antawn got a good education and that the school he chose would assure that. I also wanted him to be happy and as long as he was happy, I'd be happy for him. After Dean Smith came to visit and talk to us - Antawn really knew that he wanted to go to UNC and play for him. After we spoke with Coach Smith, we knew that he was the kind of coach that Antawn needed. It couldn't have been a better fit!
Antawn never thought about going straight from high school to the pros, not even once. His father and I weren't having it! We've always stressed education first. When he eventually went on to college and left early for the pros, he promised us that he would come back and get his diploma. We knew that if he gave us his word that he would not let us down.
I think that Antawn handled his transition from high school to college very well, on the court. Off the court, he handled it well as long as we visited him frequently. He's always been a really family oriented type of guy and I could tell that he really missed us and being home. I think that when we came to visit and then when he got a girlfriend that things got easier for him. He handled it all very well in my opinion. He even did his own laundry. Occasionally. he would bring some home when he got the chance, but for the most part, he did it all himself.
By the time he got to UNC, I was able to go to see him play. If I couldn't see him play, I wouldn't miss watching him on television. We went to just about all of the weekend games but couldn't make many games during the week because Antawn's brother and sister were still in school.
We were excited to go and see Antawn play in the Final Four both times and we all had a very good time.