Valerie Adams’ Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

(Instagram/ValerieAdams84)

(Instagram/ValerieAdams84)

Valerie Adams, who is seeking her third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the shot put, knows as well as anyone the importance of family.

In fact, the story of the 31-year-old star New Zealandar’s Adams Family might just be even more compelling as the story of this one.

Here’s everything you need to know:


1. She Has 17 Siblings

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Adams with some of her family in 2012. (Getty)

Adams’ father, Sid, was an Englishman who, after serving in the Navy, moved to New Zealand, where he had 18 children with five different women.

And they’re all big. The brothers average 6-feet-9 and the sisters average 6-feet-0, although Valerie is the tallest of the girls at 6-foot-4.


2. Her Mother Died When She Was Young

Valerie wasn’t close to her father, and her Tongan mother, Lilika, died when Valerie was just 15 years, leaving her in need of a parental figure.

She turned to her first coach, former javelin thrower Kirsten Hellier:

I was reliant on Kirsten when Mum died. I had no parent figure and Kirsten filled that role, and her mother did, too. I had no one really, and they were there for me. That was the great part, the best part, of the relationship. Training together and living together worked when I was younger.


3. Her Youngest Sibling Plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder

Everyday Moments with Steven AdamsGrowing up 1 of 18 kids can make anyone tough, now try being the youngest of 18. About the NBA: The NBA is the premier professional basketball league in the United States and Canada. The league is truly global, with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, as well as NBA rosters at the start of the 2014-15 season featuring a record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories. For the 2014-15 season, each of the league's 30 teams will play 82 regular-season games, followed by a postseason for those that qualify. The NBA consists of the following teams: Atlanta Hawks; Boston Celtics; Brooklyn Nets; Charlotte Hornets; Chicago Bulls; Cleveland Cavaliers; Dallas Mavericks; Denver Nuggets; Detroit Pistons; Golden State Warriors; Houston Rockets; Indiana Pacers; Los Angeles Clippers; Los Angeles Lakers; Memphis Grizzlies; Miami Heat; Milwaukee Bucks; Minnesota Timberwolves; New Orleans Pelicans; New York Knicks; Oklahoma City Thunder; Orlando Magic; Philadelphia 76ers; Phoenix Suns; Portland Trail Blazers; Sacramento Kings; San Antonio Spurs; Toronto Raptors; Utah Jazz; Washington Wizards. The NBA offers real time access to live regular season NBA games with a subscription to NBA LEAGUE PASS, available globally for TV, broadband, and mobile. Real-time Stats, Scores, Highlights and more are available to fans on web and mobile with NBA Game Time. For more information, as well as all the latest NBA news and highlights, log onto the league's official website at http://www.NBA.com Subscribe on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/nba Subscribe to NBA LEAGUE PASS http://www.nba.com/leaguepass Download NBA Game Time http://www.nba.com/mobile Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nba Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nba Follow us on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/nba Follow us on Tumblr http://nba.tumblr.com Shop for NBA Gear: http://store.nba.com2015-03-20T17:32:47.000Z

Not surprising considering the size of the family, Valerie isn’t the only professional athlete from the Adams bunch.

Her youngest sibling is Steven Adams, who spent a year at the University of Pittsburgh before being drafted No. 12 overall by the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder in 2013.

A physical presence in the paint for OKC, Adams averaged 8.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 25.2 minutes per game during the 2015-16 regular season. He then enjoyed somewhat of a breakout postseason, putting up a near double-double per game–10.1 points and 9.5 rebounds–for the Thunder.

Steven drew some criticism for a controversial comment during the 2016 Western Conference finals, and Valerie made it clear she would keep younger bro in check if she had to.

“I know he didn’t mean it. He apologized profusely after it. He’s done exceptionally well but I’ll still knock his two front teeth out. I’m his big sister.”


4. She’s Married to Her 2nd Husband

Adams, 31, married French discus thrower Bertrand Vili in 2004 but they divorced six year later. In her book, Valerie wrote that in 2006 Vili got into serious car crash after he had been drinking and that it was symptomatic of the “massive problems that would eventually break our marriage apart.”

She remarried childhood friend Gabriel Price in April 2016 after two years of dating.


5. Two of Her Brothers Played Professional Basketball in New Zealand

Blazing the path for Steven, Ralph and Warren Adams both played in New Zealand’s national league. When they played, it was more difficult to get to the United States, but many considered them NBA material.

That includes Jamie Dixon, who played with and against the Adams brothers in New Zealand and would eventually coach Steven at Pittsburgh.