Jenny Bennett is riding in a brand new car thanks to her twin sons Caleb and Cody Martin.
The former Wolf Pack basketball stars, now playing for the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, bought their mom a new car for Thanksgiving. Caleb Martin said on NSN Daily in September the plan was in the works for this holiday season, although the surprise element of it got spoiled.
"We were actually going to keep it a secret, but we didn't get that far into it," Martin said earlier this year. "We told her two weeks ago we were about to get her a new car. The first thing is a car and bills. We're just here to make sure she's not worried about anything. You know how my mom is. She doesn't like handouts, so she's still doing her side of things, too. But we're just here to make her life as easy as possible and try to give back a little bit. I know whatever we do isn't going to be half of what she did. We're just going to do our best, and she's grateful for that. We just feel like it can finally be our time to do something for her."
Bennett raised the Martin twins and their older brother, Raheem, as a single mother in rural North Carolina. She worked multiple jobs, waking up at 2 o’clock every morning to try and be home by 3 o’clock in the afternoon when the kids returned from school. She often went without dinner so her sons could have a second helping of food.
Bennett, who was a teenager mother and was kicked out of her home as a result, endured racism as a white mom to biracial sons. That included waking up one morning to a burning cross in her yard. She was once chased by a truck. But Bennett shepherded her sons to future success. The Martin twins became top high school recruits who began their college careers at North Carolina State before transferring to Nevada, where they started for two seasons, leading the Wolf Pack to the 2018 Sweet 16 and a program-best No. 5 national ranking in 2018-19. Raheem also played college basketball and is currently a graduate assistant for Eric Musselman at Arkansas.
“I have a crazy, crazy amount of respect for my mom and all the stuff she’s gone through,” Caleb Martin told me for a feature story in 2017. “Cody and I will reminisce about our childhood and we now notice all of the stuff she didn’t let us in on when we were little, all of the stuff we realize now. It was hard, but she made a lot of sacrifices like not eating certain nights and passing up job opportunities because she had no help at home and had to be there for us.”
Added Bennett in 2017: "It’s been tough at times, but I always told them 'You sacrifice now for later.' It’s been a rough road, but to see them where they are and to see them happy, it’s been worth it for sure.”
Cody and Caleb Martin both played their rookie seasons in the NBA last year, with Cody doing so as a second-round draft pick and Caleb as an undrafted free agent. Both will make $1,517,981 this season, with Caleb's deal becoming guaranteed over the weekend.
"Used to be evicted. Now I bought my momma a car. I'm so thankful," Caleb Martin wrote on his Instagram page last week.
"It's one of the best feelings in the world, honestly," Caleb said on NSN Daily earlier this year. "It's one thing I've always wanted to do, to do anything and everything for my mom when I can and whenever she asks without having to worry about it. Obviously being smart and frugal with my money. As a rookie and through a pandemic, you have to treat the first check you get like that's the last check you're going to get. That's how I try to spend my money, but we're in the process of trying to get my mom a car. I'm excited about that. I ended up having to tell her because she was having some car issues and we were worried about certain stuff."