He may wear an NBA championship ring around his finger, but Boston Celtics guard Eddie House is about to be outdone. . . by his eight-year-old son. Jaelen House is already known for his constant presence on the court during Celtics’ home games, and The Cartoon Network is now filming his day-to-day life for My Dad Is a Pro, to air this fall. Babble sat down to talk with Eddie House, a player known for being a dad first, about how his family is just like any other. . . with a few extra perks. – Jeanne Sager
We hear your son is a big fan of the Cartoon Network?
He’s a fan of the Cartoon Network, all that stuff. He watches a bunch of them. He has them all TiVo’d on his Direct TV box!
So how did this opportunity to star on one of their shows come about?
They asked if it was something I’d be interested in doing [as part of a partnership between the NBA and the Cartoon Network], and I asked him if he’d be interested in doing it. He said, “Yeah!”
You’re already an NBA star, but how do you feel about the cameras following you home?
It’s kind of weird, but at the same time it’s a good way to get a look at how we live day-to-day life like everybody else. I think it’s a good concept; it’ll show that he lives is the same type of life, just with a few extra perks.
The cameras have caught Jaelen a lot; he’s always out there at the Celtics’ games. When did you realize people were paying attention to the fact that he’s at the games?
When people started calling me from home saying “Your boy’s on TV again, your boy’s on TV again!” Just telling me he’s always on TV every time they watch one of my games.
Does he have a bedtime? I’m beginning to think he’s always there!
[Laughs.] Yeah, he does have a bedtime. But we’re kind of lax around here. We’re not big sticklers on going to sleep at nine. We give him leeway, especially during the summer.
Your twins will be three in September, so I’m guessing they don’t really get to go to games yet?
Yeah, they go to the games. Not as much as him.
How do you make sure they stay kids being kids?
We try to raise them the way I was raised, try to raise them right. That’s it - try to instill all the positive things that you can. Everything else will take care of itself.
Jaelen goes to public school. How do his classmates react knowing who his dad is?
I don’t know - he really doesn’t talk to us about that. You get the looks and the waves ‘hi’ when you go pick him up, but besides that I think it’s really normal for him.
What about you – how do you carve out the family time with three kids and eighty-two games a year plus practices?
You have to juggle responsibilities, take care of your responsibility at work and then come home and take care of your home responsibilities. You just figure a way out.
How does being so family-centered affect you as a player?
It gives you motivation. When you look and see your kids in the stands or when you leave and they say, “Have a good game!,” it’s extra motivation to go out and perform to show the best of your capabilities.
“He just asked to be a ball boy, so I brought him.” You like having your kids at your games?
Yeah - just looking up at them and seeing them watching me, seeing them taking in everything that’s going on.
Did you and your wife start the conversation about Jaelen attending your games?
He just asked to be a ball boy, so I brought him. That was it. He comes down on the court, helps rebound, shag balls, stuff like that.
And does he get out and actually play with you guys?
He gets out and plays sometimes. He’s playing basketball right now on a team. It teaches them teamwork, teaches them how to get along with other people, how to come together to accomplish one goal. As a team, you get a win and everyone does their part. That’s big for kids on that level. He’s pretty good for being eight.
For being eight? Weren’t you pretty good at eight?
I didn’t play basketball at eight years old. [Laughs] I didn’t start playing until like ten, eleven.
So is he going to be a basketball player when he grows up?
It doesn’t matter. Whatever he wants to do, as long as he likes what he’s doing, I’ll support him. Whatever it is.