Former Timberwolf Corey Brewer is a lot more comfortable changing diapers than he is on a dance floor.
I learned all kinds of amusing stuff about Brewer from his humorous fiancée, Monique Mongalo, last month when the newly transferred Houston Rocket couldn’t attend the Christmas activities they had planned at Oak Park Center for 200 children living in homelessness or other crises. He appeared via FaceTime to see kids and their family members pick out the toys and clothing items purchased at the Fridley Wal-Mart, which arranged delivery of the haul to the north Minneapolis community center.
Brewer missed my interview, too, but Mongalo stepped up to the foul line. She was a gamer.
Mongalo told me that having your life turned upside down by a trade is a minor inconvenience compared to what was happening to the families at the Christmas giveaway.
“We heard stories from our nanny,” Mongalo told me. “She told us everyday about the little kids she deals with and we thought we had to do something ourselves, not from any sponsors.”
Sano Daniel, a foster parent, licensed child-care provider and the Timberwolves’ team nanny during games, said, “I am so grateful to Corey and Monique for stepping out of the box and reaching out for my community, and believing in my dream to help families in crisis put smiles on their kids’ faces. The joy I feel to know such a great couple share a heart of gold. Thanks for being great examples of good Samaritans. You have made a tremendous positive impact on everyone here, and I love you my family, friends.”
Daniel, who’s also in my startribune.com/video featuring Mongalo, sounds primed to take on a role as Corey Brewer’s PR agent.
Q: I was in Houston in October. Do you like traffic jams?
A: Yes, I do. I’m from LA. [Big laugh.]
Q: You will do well in Houston, then, because the traffic is HORRIBLE. New people are constantly flooding into Houston and it appears officials aren’t doing anything to improve the infrastructure; lanes aren’t being widened; potholes aren’t being repaired.
A: Right. There [are] traffic jams all the time in LA. I don’t think anything can [be] worse.
Q: How many cowboy boots and hats are in your closet?
A: In our personal closet we have none. He’s only allowed to keep those in Tennessee [at his childhood home, where they visit his mother]. [Laughter]
Q: Brewer is going to a team that’s winning more than the Timberwolves, so this should improve his mood, as I assume that losing all the time wears on you.
A: Corey’s pretty good when he loses. He’ll stay mad for maybe 20 minutes. But once he’s out of the locker room and we actually leave [the arena], I think Sebastian, his son, really puts a smile on his face and he leaves it all behind. The only really stressful thing he’ll have to go through with this new team is learning everything new. It’s like a kid in a new school. You never know what to expect.
Q: You attend all the games?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: You’re not going to be able to do that when Sebastian is in school, are you?
A: We brought him into this life, he’s going to have to adjust.
Q: Sebastian likes the basketball, too?
A: He loves the basketball. We did not teach him to like basketball. Maybe it’s just every boy likes balls, but yeah.
Q: I mean that ball starts bouncing …
A: … and he goes crazy.
Q: How old is Sebastian?
A: He’s 10 months.
Q: And how do you spell Sebastian?
A: S-e-b-a-s-t-i-a-n. And Corey cannot tell you how to spell that name. [Laughter] His family can barely say it. It’s more of a Spanish name, I think. So when I first picked the name, everybody went a little crazy. And his middle name is King, so everybody was iffy about the name.
Q: Is King a family name?
A: Nope. I love it. I’m from LA we have some weird things going on with the name. [Laughs]
Q: I hear that Corey’s a pretty good dancer?
A: He’s not at all. [Laughter]
Q: Maybe he can line dance then?
A: He probably thinks he can.
Q: How many diapers has Dad changed?
A: Corey has changed more diapers than I have. Yes.
Q: I like a capable man. So you are telling me that you can go to the grocery story or wherever and leave him with the baby without that being a worrisome situation?
A: Definitely not going to be a problem. But he likes to do all the household chores himself, like grocery shop.
Q: Is there anything he’s not good at, chore-wise?
A: He’s just very messy with his clothes. [Laughter]
Q: Corey Brewer is kind of skinny at 6-9 and 187 pounds. Are there any Nicaraguan foods you might consider preparing to fatten up your fiancé?
A: At home Corey likes to eat gallo pinto, which is rice with fried beans, chicharron con yuca, which is fried pork skin. But he goes at his own pace. Now when we are in Los Angeles with my family, they basically force feed him! He gains a good 10 pounds in the summer.
Q: Are you “Real Housewives” material?
A: No. Absolutely not. [Big laughs]
Q: Andy Cohen, the executive producer of “The Real Housewives” franchise, telephones and you’re not taking his call?
A: No. [Big laughs]
Interviews are edited. To contact C.J. try firstname.lastname@example.org and to see her watch FOX 9’s “Buzz.”