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Shaunie Henderson

Source: Keith Majors / Keith Majors for Shaunie Henderson

Shaunie Henderson hesitated writing her recently released memoir Undefeated: Changing the Rules and Winning on My Own Terms. “I started the book back in 2018 -19, and I just kept stopping and starting,” she told HelloBeautiful in a candid chat.

She questioned if she was telling too much. It was her story of learning who she was as an adult, a wife, a mother, a parent, and eventually a co-parent. But others would be impacted by it. They would have opinions. There would be drama. 

With every step forward, the Basketball Wives creator, producer, and reality personality was forced to spend time rediscovering herself, resulting in repeatedly “getting scared.”

Ultimately, the mother of five and First Lady of her husband Keion Henderson’s congregation decided it would be worth it if she could help just one person with her story. 

Despite the fear, she allowed readers into her heartbreak and hopeful moments because the message was bigger than the mess. 

Undefeated Goes Viral 

Shaunie Henderson

Source: Gallery Books for Simon & Schuster / Gallery Books for Simon & Schuster

As expected, a quote from the book, about her former relationship with NBA great Shaq, went viral. In true Internet fashion, the clips were turned into a salacious spectacle. The clickbait is “frustrating” for Henderson, but she won’t allow it to silence her. “I talk about me growing up,” she said. “I’m a woman, and it’s my experience.” 

Her choice to shed light on her emotions during the early years of her marriage to Shaquille O’Neal drew a ton of hate. Henderson found it worth it. She wanted others to learn from her life’s wins and the other moments that helped her achieve them. 

“I think I’m just in a space of being comfortable with my story and realizing that if somebody had shared a few nuggets with me along the way, I might have made some better decisions,” she said. “I absolutely want the reader to walk away feeling inspired and empowered and encouraged to just know that they could take any challenge and make it into an opportunity.” 

Undefeated does not just tell her life story. It outlines her ambitions and the pitfalls on the path to achieving them. 

“I want to be undefeated in anything that I do, and I know that’s unrealistic to actually win at everythingBut I still, I take what some might say is not a win as still a win because now I know how not to do it,” she said. 

Standing In Truth 

Shaunie has no regrets about taking actions that led to her own challenges. She thrives in uneasiness now. 

“I think that once that clicked, I was just like, there’s no growth in being comfortable. That became a driving force for me. I don’t want to be in a comfortable space because I know I’m not growing, and I want to grow, and I want to succeed,” she said. 

“There are plenty of things I could have done to alter my results, but I, I think I just completely God’s timing and His purpose for me, was to go through all that I went through to shape me and to form me into the woman that I answered today and just to be able to have the mindset that I do,” she continued. 

“I’m the happiest I’ve been in my entire life right now,” she added confidently. 

Comfort In Crisis 

That happiness came on the other side of struggles. Shaunie Henderson hears God when she is in a crisis. “There have been so many moments in my life that God has really spoken to me,” she said. “My son had heart surgery; I think I had some of my most loud conversations with God where not only was I speaking to him, I heard him speaking to me.” 

“When I was making the decision to get a divorce, I really had some intense conversations with God,” she continued. 

Harold And Carole Pump Foundation Gala

Source: Rodin Eckenroth / Getty

Carrying On 

Henderson is not afraid to be seen trying out loud and touching others in a different way. She is launching a podcast with her husband, Keion Henderson. They are also launching a conference. After experiencing success in reality television and penning her story, she is exploring bringing a scripted series loosely based on her life with her current husband to television. “It’s loosely based,” she clarified. “It won’t be us.” 

As with her book, this is a project that is going to take time to come to fruition. That works for Henderson. She wants the project to be right. “I’ve learned to take my time,” she said. 

“If that takes a little longer in the development process, I’m okay with that.”


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Shaunie Henderson On Overcoming Her Fears And Releasing Her Memoir  was originally published on