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Odell Beckham Jr. Parents: Meet Mom Heather Van Norman, Who Skipped Olympics Due to Pregnancy & Ex-College Football Star Dad

Published 02/21/2024, 8:43 AM EST

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Odell Beckham Jr. was in the news recently. The rumors were that he was dating Kim Kardashian. And he was reluctant to announce it because he was scared of the “Kardashian Curse.” But now let’s take a look at his other family. The family that raised him is the star that he is. OBJ has become synonymous with jaw-dropping catches and game-changing plays.

However, the roots of his exceptional athleticism can be traced back to his parents, Heather Van Norman and Odell Beckham Sr. He inherited his athlete’s genes from the two.

Who is Odell Beckham Jr.’s inspiration?

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OBJ’s mother is Heather Van Norman. She was a star athlete in her own right and was even training for the 1992 Olympic trials for track and field when she discovered she was pregnant with him. “I’m a momma’s boy. My mom worked very, very hard to be able to provide everything for me.” That explains why he feels this constant pressure to keep pushing himself to make his mother proud. “There’s nothing that brings me more joy than to see my mom smile. … I just wanna make my momma proud.”

 

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Heather Van Norman distinguished herself as an athlete during her collegiate years. Going from the University of Minnesota to LSU, she blossomed into an All-American track sensation from 1991 to 1993. Her accolades extended to leading the Lady Tigers to five national championships, comprising two NCAA indoor titles and three consecutive NCAA outdoor titles.

Upon her graduation in 1994, Heather had accumulated six All-American honors and clinched three individual NCAA titles with the relay teams. Her athletic prowess has notably impacted her son’s performance on the football field. However, his father may have had a more direct influence on him than his mom.

OBJ and OBS share more than just a name

Let’s time travel to Odell Sr.’s collegiate years at Louisiana State University, where he showcased his skills as a running back from 1989 to 1992. During his tenure at LSU, Odell Sr. earned acclaim for his agility and propensity for making impactful plays.

 

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Furthermore, Odell Sr.’s football journey served as a wellspring of inspiration for his son. Reflecting on Odell Jr.’s professional football career, the elder Beckham expressed profound pride, recognizing it as a watershed moment for their family. “It’s something that has never happened in my family,” he shared in an interview, “The chain has been broken and I’m very ecstatic. This is what I wish for as a parent.”

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As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. OB Sr. noted, “Everyone from his mother and godmother to his stepfather; it was just an army that swarmed to make sure everything he was doing was the right thing in a respectful manner.” This collective effort underscores the importance of familial and community support in shaping Odell Jr.’s journey to the NFL. The Ravens might’ve missed out on the Super Bowl this year. But could OBJ make his parents proud in the next season?

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Written by:

Jakso James

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Jakso James is an NFL Writer at EssentiallySports. Jakso’s analysis takes a reader around the league with a look at the player strategies and stats. An ardent football lover himself, he developed a strong connection with the Denver Broncos as he witnessed Russell Wilson break the barriers.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal