Deneitra Harris Ham, Darvin Ham’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Darvin Ham and his wife Deneitra Ham

Getty Darvin Ham and his wife Deneitra Ham

Darvin Ham is married to Deneitra Ham and the couple recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. While the Los Angeles Lakers‘ head coach grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, Ham left the state to attend Texas Tech and that’s where he met his now-wife, a native of Dallas, Texas. The couple has two kids together.

Here’s what you need to know about Darvin Ham’s wife Deneitra Ham:

1. Darvin Ham Met His Wife Deneitra Ham When He Was at Texas Tech & the Couple Has Been Together 25 Years

Ham was at Texas Tech for the 1993-96 seasons before he left college to pursue a basketball career. In fact, he returned 23 years later to complete his degree and walk in the graduation ceremony in August 2019. Ham met his future wife Deneitra Ham while he was at Texas Tech, and it’s where she ended up graduating herself in 2003.

Deneitra Ham, who is a native of Dallas, Texas, went to Lincoln Humanities/Communications Magnet High School and also studied at Lamar University in Texas, according to her Facebook bio.

The couple married in 1998, and Deneitra Ham wished her husband a happy 24-year anniversary on February 7, 2022. “Whether in black and white or in color, ‘What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.’ Blessed to see 24!” she wrote on Facebook to mark the occasion.

2. Darvin Ham Has Three Children, All Boys, & Shares Two Sons With His Wife Deneitra Ham

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Ham has two kids with his wife of over two decades, Deneitra Ham. Their sons, Donovan and Dominic, are both adults now. Ham also has a son from a previous relationship named Darvin Ham Jr. In fact, Ham had his eldest son when he was still in high school and it created a strong motivation for him to make something of his career. “I was playing basketball and trying to succeed for a whole different reason than most,” Ham said when speaking with the NBA in 2011. “I had to feed my kid. I wasn’t worried about the spoils of basketball.”

He explained that Darvin Ham Jr. was one year old when Ham left Saginaw to go to Texas Tech in 1993. “Playing basketball afforded me a scholarship, which afforded me the chance to get educated and the chance to eventually get to play in the NBA,” he said.

In an interview with Texas Tech, Ham confessed that his three boys “are all budding athletes.” However, he made it clear that like his own parents told him, his boys had to focus on academics first and athletics second. “They know you have to pick up a book before they can get to the ball,” he shared.

He also explained in his NBA interview that having three boys of his own made him think back to his own childhood in Michigan. “Having three boys of my own – a son in college (Darvin Jr.), a 14-year-old (Donovan) and an 11-year-old (Dominic) – I was just thinking when I was the age of my oldest boy, I was hearing gun shots every night,” he shared.

After Ham was announced as the new Lakers head coach, his eldest son Darvin Ham Jr. posted a photo of his father, Deneitra Ham, and Donovan and Dominic. “Genuinely happy for my guy! The best DAD, above everything else. Love you OG,” the younger Darvin Ham wrote. The Lakers coach is also a grandfather as his eldest son, Darvin Ham Jr., has three kids.

3. Deneitra Ham & Darvin Ham’s 2 Sons Both Played College Basketball & Their Youngest Is Still in His Junior Year of College

Deneitra and Darvin Ham have two sons together, both of whom were raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Donovan Ham was born on January 3, 1997, according to his profile at Mississippi College. His profile states that he attended North Atlanta High School and then Georgia Highlands before joining Mississippi College and playing for its basketball team.

At the time, Donovan Ham was majoring in business administration and “averaged 13 points, five rebounds and three assists per game.” The 6’4″ guard was a senior during the 2018-19 season.

Deneitra and Darvin Ham’s youngest son, Dominic Ham, was born on January 24, 2000. He is also a college basketball player and is currently a junior at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee playing for Milwaukee Panthers men’s basketball. The 6’5″ guard grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and like his older brother, attended North Atlanta High School where he played basketball.

His profile with the Panthers states that he also played football for four years as a quarterback and wide receiver when he was in high school and he won the Golden Helmet award.

Dominic Ham is a communications major and according to his profile, he “chose Milwaukee because of the opportunity and because it felt like home.” His hobbies listed are “watching TV, giving back/volunteering, and traveling.”

4. Deneitra Ham Is an Educator & She Works With a Non-Profit That She Started With Darvin Ham 2 Decades Ago

Deneitra and Darvin Ham are both philanthropists who are giving back to their communities. The couple founded Urban Youth Development, a non-profit organization, in 2003. It was founded by “Darvin Ham and wife Deneitra, an educator, to address issues affecting youth in various communities,” the organization’s website states. It adds, “Urban Youth Development continues to strive to provide free Basketball Life Skills programs.”

So far, the organization has helped communities in Ham’s hometown of Saginaw, Deneitra’s hometown of Dallas, Kansas City, Missouri, and Rio Rancho, New Mexico, according to the foundation’s website.

The organization works with public schools and communities to facilitate athletic programs and literacy programs among their kids and teens. “Urban Youth Development emphasizes the development of youth through physical, intellectual, emotional and social development,” it states.

5. Darvin Ham Has Been Open About Struggling With PTSD & the Impact It Had on His Marriage

Ham has opened up about the growth in his relationship with Deneitra and has been candid about some of their more troubled times. While speaking with the Los Angeles Times, he shared that the trauma of his difficult past had an impact on his marriage.

In 2002, Ham was arrested and authorities told the Los Angeles Times that the then-Milwaukee Bucks forward was cited on suspicion of domestic violence-battery. No charges were filed and Deneitra Ham told police she wasn’t hurt, the publication wrote. Afterward, Ham issued an apology and said it wasn’t “representative of [his] character.” He added, “My wife means the world to me and I will not let one lapse in judgment overcome my love and commitment to her and to our children.”

Three years later, in 2005, Deneitra Ham was sentenced to a year’s probation after she hit her husband on the head with a wine bottle, ESPN reported. She pleaded guilty to domestic violence and was also sentenced to an anger management program as well as 30 hours of community service. According to the publication, Ham had told authorities that he didn’t want to press charges.

While speaking with the Times after being named head coach of the Lakers, Ham confessed that therapy helped him understand that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his childhood was affecting his marriage.

“My wife has bore the brunt of all of that,” he said, “to the point where I’m not beating her or slapping her. I [was] actually beating her with my pain, mentally, emotionally — not physically. It’s one of those things where one of the reasons she’s still by my side is because she sees that and gets on me about being better.”