One on One: interview with NBA Wives Association, “Behind the Bench” President Sandra Short


I recently had the opportunity to interview outgoing Behind the Bench president Shandra Short.. Sandra has been a member of BTB since it’s inception in 1993. She’s their 5th President and just handed the reigns over to Kristina Ratliff.

Behind the Bench considers itself a sister circle. Started on a whim in 93. The ladies were already meeting up, they just decided to make it official. The idea for a yearly conference was developed after the third President passed away from breast cancer and none of the members knew she was fighting that battle.  The conference is not only a way to check in with one another but to also encourage personal development through the various speakers and seminars that participate.


Interest in the “basketball wife’s” lifestyle has ramped up in recent years with several reality shows built around current and former wives of NBA players. I asked Sandra her thoughts on the interest and how closely she felt it mirrored the real life.

Everyday people go through ups and downs in life. I doesn’t understand the interest in things like women getting an increase in child support. Sandra goes on to say that she’s never watched shows like “Basketball Wives” or “Lala’s Full Court Life” but, has no issue with them. “Everyone’s story is different, she said. “Some of our members have participated on those shows.”

BTB has raised over $20 million for various charities since it’s creation 20 years ago. They hold two major events each year; the Gala which takes place during NBA All-Star weekend. The charity event has previously honored the likes of Hank Aaron and Janet Jackson. While raising funds for beneficiaries including, “The Boys & Girls club,” “Girls inc,” and, the “Child Welfare League.”

The most recent annual conference wrapped up last weekend in Miami. Tracy Morning(Alonzo Mourning) and Jenine Howard (Juwan Howard) coordinated the event which includes seminars on financial planning and spirituality. Plus shopping events and an evening on yacht.

In order to become a member of “Behind the Bench,” an existing member must “sponsor” you.  The women do not have to leave if they divorce. BTB has been there for its members through, death, retirement, affairs and divorce.

Some of the members in attendance at this year’s conference; Dee Dee Rahihm, Yolanda Smith, Clarenda McGrady, Tai Eisley and newly elected President, Kristina Ratliff.

You can check out 2012’s Atlanta Conference highlights HERE.