Kyle Kuzma is one of the young stars of the Los Angeles Lakers.
While there are flashier, bigger named players who get more publicity on the team such as LeBron James and Lonzo Ball, Kuzma is an important cog that keeps the machine going.
While it seems like Kuzma is linking to seemingly every trade the Lakers could potentially make, it’s clear he’s someone the Lakers want to keep around as they move forward in the LeBron James-era.
Here’s what you need to know about Kyle Kuzma’s family.
1. Karri Kuzma Raised Kyle as a Single Mother
Karri Kuzma, Kyle’s mother, became pregnant with him in college and began raising him as a single mother living near Flint, MI, according to the Detroit Free Press.
She has been supportive of Kyle his whole life and recognized his potential early on. During the NBA Summer League last year she became emotional when she heard the “Kuuuzzzz” chant come through her TV.
She kept close contact with Kyle when he moved away from home and has remained just as close since he left.
“Every game during Summer League, mom was always hitting me up to check on how I was doing and give some motherly advice,” Kyle said according to the Free Press. “She was asking how I felt about how I was playing and was telling me to just let everybody see what I can do on the court.”
2. Kyle Has Never Met His Biological Dad
With Kyle making it all the way to the NBA you would figure he’d have some sort of contact with his biological dad but that hasn’t been the case.
Kyle told the Detroit Free Press he has never met his father but he has a different father figure in Larry Smith, the father of his younger brother and sister.
“It’s not a big deal to me, not knowing my actual father, because I got used to it growing up and (Larry) has been great to me,” he told the Free Press. “He was the first person I played basketball with after he and my mom put up a Little Tykes hoop in the living room.”
Teammate Lonzo Ball made fun of Kyle not knowing his father in a diss track called “Kylie Kuzma.”
3. Kyle Has One Brother and One Sister
Larry Smith, as mentioned earlier, is Kyle Kuzma’s father figure and he’s also the father of Kyle’s two step-siblings.
Andre, a student at Grand Blanc High School in Michigan and Kuzma’s half-brother, says a lot of people know who he is now because of the fame of Kyle.
“Kyle does the most for me, and my public status is a little different,” said Andre to Deseret News. “A lot of people know me at school.”
His sister Briana is a baggage handler at Bishop Internation Airport and she said people ask her if she’s going to quit now because Kyle is so well off.
4. Karri Kuzma Was a Shot Put Champion in High School
Although Kyle is the one in the NBA, his mother has some athletic chops of her own. According to Bleacher Report, she was an athlete in both high school and in college.
She was a two-time Class B shot put champion while at Otisville Lakeville Highschool and she attended Hillsdale College on a track scholarship.
Her track career had to be cut short once she became pregnant with Kyle and the rest is history.
5. Kyle and His Mother Moved Around Often
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Kyle Kuzma and his mother moved around a lot in his younger years.
In fact, here’s just how much they moved:
They moved once because Karri saw a man outside their home pulling people from a car at gunpoint. She didn’t want her kids around that.
They moved once because a water leakage caused a mold infestation that made them ill.
They moved once because an ex-boyfriend was stalking Karri.
They moved once after getting evicted when Karri lost a job. She and her three children lived in the unfinished basement of her grandparents’ home — in a house her grandfather had built. They lived there for the few months it took her to find a new job. It was 30 minutes outside Flint, 10 miles from the nearest coffee shop.
Despite all of this turmoil, Kyle was able to persevere and make it into the NBA. As a matter of a fact, the first purchase Kuzma made once he made it to the NBA was buying his mom a house.