Audrey Griffin is the wife of former NBA player and current Chicago Bulls assistant coach, Adrian Griffin. But there’s so much more to her than just that title. Audrey is also a mother, Educator, Parenting lifestyle consultant and author. Her book, “The Day I Took off My Cape: An NBA Wife’s Journey to Finding Family Balance” covers the topics of parenting, family and personal growth.
Audrey recently spoke at the Behind the Bench conference in Atlanta (BTB is the organization comprised of wives and significant others of active and retired NBA players) and took some time out to talk to me about the organization, misconceptions about being married to an athlete and transitioning from the role of an athlete’s wife to a coach’s wife.
Jill: How did you become involved with “Behind the Bench”?
Audrey: I was first introduced to the organization by Sandra Short (our current president) back in 2003 when I lived in Houston, which is where she resides. She told me about it then, but I couldn’t make a commitment at the time since I just had my fourth child and I had 4 kids under the age of 7. It just wasn’t an ideal time for me to join then.
Jill: How soon into your relationship did you become involved with the organization? Have you always done philanthropy work?
Audrey: I ended up joining BTB in 2007 and this was also the year I was nominated and elected as Vice President, so as soon as I became a member I was very much involved.
I love working with families, children, and parents who are in need of assistance. I do believe we are here to serve, that is the rent we pay to live. Whether it is through my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, helping a friend with their non-profit organization, or with Behind the Bench, I have always tried to be active in my community wherever I reside.
Jill: You recently spoke on one of the panels for the BTB conference, what was the topic?
Audrey: My topic was, how to create balance to live a fulfilling and purposeful life.
Jill: In the mission statement, “BTB” says it’s purpose was to help families. How is that achieved?
Audrey: We help by raising money and devoting our time to local and national charities. Whether its through community service and or raising money through our events, we seek for ways to enrich the lives of today’s families.
Jill: How does “BTB” support the wives within the organization?
Audrey: We are JASA, just a sister away! We know we can call on one another for advice & support whether it is for personal cares, business or just to simply catch up and see how one another is doing.
Jill: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about being married to an athlete?
Audrey: That your life is easy& everything that glitters is gold.
Jill: Is your life much different now that your husband is apart of the coaching staff and not the players side?
Audrey: Absolutely! The hours are much longer and the vacation time is significantly shorter. So we have had to become real creative with staying connected and spending time together as a family.
Jill: If you could give one piece of advice to young ladies who are strictly looking at the glitz and glam of your “lifestyle,” what would it be?
Audrey: Beside every great man there is an amazing woman who is holding him and his family down. It’s no easy road to make marriage & relationships work& keep families grounded in this lifestyle, so it truly takes a special kind of woman to do that.