According to CoolxDad member Gavin Adams, there’s more to basketball than learning to win, and there’s more to fatherhood than just showing up.
“I can be here in front of my son, but how am I using my time when I’m around my son?” Gavin said. “Am I with him? Am I really getting involved with what he’s doing?”
To connect with his son Gian, Gavin, a construction project manager who occasionally acts as a fashion consultant, finds lessons in his passions. He’s also modeling the importance of giving back. Gavin took part in last year’s Color Box toy drive, helping to wrap more than 300 toys for the Allen Parkway Boys & Girls Club.
As we collect donations for another round of Color Box, we caught up with Gavin to reflect on his wrapping skills, off-the-court lessons in basketball, and what quality time really means.
What inspires you and what are your passions?
My family is the number one thing that inspires me. Growing up Christian, I would have to say I strive to be a man of God. And, I’m into fashion. I just love shopping for clothes, seeing different people’s styles, and getting dressed. I love basketball as well.
How many kids do you have?
One son, Gavin Adams, who is 11 years old. We call him Gian.
What attracted you to the CoolxDad mission?
One of the things that attracted me was [CoolxDad founder] Kevin and [co-founder] Arvy — those guys. In the city of Houston, there are very few people that connect with me on fashion. They are into what I’m into, so that was the first thing. And secondly, the vision they have for CoolxDad. I’m never a part of anything — the most I’ve been a part of is my church but I’ve never been a part of an organization. It was time for me to be involved in something, and part of CoolxDad’s mission is uplifting fathers. It feels good to be part of something that comes naturally.
What are the three most important values you want to pass on to your son?
He’s gravitating to basketball, I feel like that’s his gift, and not only does sports teach you how to play the game, it teaches you how to be disciplined, how to be a team player, how to be a leader, how to work hard when no one’s around — a lot of those things in life you’re going to need. It’s a lot of work that’s put into behind the scenes and there are many disappointments along the way. In life, there will be obstacles that he’s going to face, and I just hope he uses what he learned through basketball to overcome those obstacles.
You’re going to be volunteering with the ColorBox toy drive again this year. What motivates you about that mission and why is it important?
I can tell you from my experience last year, it made me feel proud, especially during the holidays when we can understand how much pressure it can be on families, where kids can’t get what they want because of financial difficulties in people’s households.
As I get older, memories are important. Remembering your first Hot Wheels car or your first Jordans — those kind of material items can mean certain things to kids. It can remind them of special times in their lives. When you have something nice it makes you feel special, and who doesn’t like to feel special? The gifts can be something to take the kids away from the problems that they’re dealing with. It means somebody’s thinking about them. That’s very important.
You’re a fashion lover and consultant. How do you describe your style?
That’s one of the hardest questions. I love fashion, so I love everything. I love luxury, I love vintage, I love streetwear — all of that combined. I love being different, I love to dress differently from other people, or at least have a special piece that you wouldn’t see an average person wearing. I may have some dressy slacks on, but I’ll put them with a vintage shirt, then pair it with some worn-in sneakers. I like to offset those kind of outfits. I love that kind of mix — dressy and very vintage.
Top underrated — but totally necessary — dad skill?
How you spend your time. I wouldn’t say it’s overlooked, but do you really pay attention to how you spend your time? I can be here in front of my son, but how am I using my time when I’m around my son? Am I with him? Am I really getting involved with what he’s doing? One of the things that I try to do is — and it’s hard as a parent — is I have to know how to disconnect sports and say ‘hey, let’s play 2K, or let’s go bowling, let’s go sit down and eat and we can talk about anything but basketball. I just want to have a conversation. Yes, I’m your dad but I want you to open up to me as a friend.’
Engaging him is important, saying, ‘You good?’ Let him know, ‘Hey, daddy’s here if you need me.’
Written by Elizabeth Lepro
Photography by William Issac