Basketball Wives LA is our dra-ratchet guilty pleasure and back for a third season with a new cast and juicier story lines. Dramatics aside, Brandi Maxiell–wife of Orlando Magic’s Jason Maxiell– is the epitome of a classy well-mannered baller wife with an inspiring story of overcoming cancer.
Photo Credits: Instagram
VIBE Vixen: Basketball Wives and reality TV often get a bad wrap–were you at all hesitant to sign on?
Brandi: I wasn’t hesitant at first. I wanted to do reality TV before I got pregnant. Honestly, I just wanted to have fun with my girl Malaysia and show who I am as a person and bring awareness to my cancer.
Your story is very inspiring. Can you tell us a little more about your story and your progress?
I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 24; I just graduated college and it was really shocking for me to find out that I had cancer. I was completely healthy and my family was healthy. It was tough. I didn’t know what was going on; it came as a shock to me and my family. After the treatment, I was healed and it was definitely a life changing experience.
The cancer came at such an exciting time of my life. I just graduated college, my husband was in the NBA and life was great. Back then, I was like, “This is turn up time!” (Laughs) and then God said, “Hold on baby, I got other plans for you.” I lost my hair, I gained weight from all the different medications I was taking and that really took a toll on my self esteem.
Although my experience was shocking and heartbreaking, it was also a humbling experience. I learned so much: who my friends were, how important family is and how loving my husband is. At first I was like, “God, why me?” But I realized that he chooses the best things for the best people.
We love the relationship you have with Jason. How did you guys meet?
We met in high school and it was through a three way phone call with a mutual friend we had. I was on the phone with our friend and then he told me he wanted to call his homeboy, which was Jason. I didn’t really care–I had to do something really quick so I put the phone down and when I picked up to say hello, Jason said, “Oh who’s that?” He fell in love with my voice (laughs).
We stayed in contact after that, but didn’t see each other for months and then when we finally saw each other. We just clicked. We began dating in high school, dated on and off in college; but, we always found our way back to each other. Then we finally realized this is it–we belong together.
How was it adjusting to LA life as a southern girl?
LA is really busy and traffic is super annoying. Besides that, it is a fun place to be. There are nice restaurants, different places to shop and a lot places to just chill and have a great time . Change isn’t bad for me–I am used to it.
Who is your favorite castmate?
Definitely Malaysia-that is my girl! She is a very sweet, down to earth and all around great person.
I like Draya too; you have to watch to see how our relationship turns out. I hate how people try to bring her down. I find that unacceptable; who you are is who you are and she owns it. Draya is moving past her past… She has her own business, she’s a mom and she has a man.
Who is your least favorite?
Let’s just say Malaysia is my favorite (laughs).
What can we expect/ learn from you this season?
You will learn that I can’t expect everyone to like me. I tried to get to know these women, but they made it very difficult by pre-judging and being confrontational for no real reason. It’s as though they had ulterior motives or a pre-set agenda to be not so nice, judgmental and ugly in order to shine. It’s very disappointing, but that’s television for you and all company isn’t good company.
What other ventures are you getting into?
Currently, I’m the owner of Midway Salon and Suites in Carrollton, Texas. The business is thriving; I love fashion and beauty and I plan to start a beauty and hair line. I have been a salon owner for several years now. I also want to give back and start my own ovarian cancer foundation and take advantage of this national platform in order to help women like myself. When I had my chemo treatments, I lost all of my hair (even eyelashes)–going through that made me very insecure and I didn’t feel beautiful. My job is to make women who are going through what I went through feel beautiful and also to help find a cure for this silent killer.