The NBA star was 15 years old when he and the Seasoned Life author, then 14, met at church in North Carolina. Though they’ve both since admitted they were fond of each other at a young age, it wasn’t until years later that they would reconnect as adults and give romance a shot.
“I always had my eye on her, but I got a little shaken, for sure,” Stephen previously told Parents Magazine of their teenage years.
Fast-forward a few years, and the Golden State Warriors point guard finally got the chance to pursue the then-aspiring actress while on a trip to Los Angeles, where she was living. During his East Coast visit for the ESPY Awards, Stephen and Ayesha spent the day together as just friends, and they later turned romantic.
The couple tied the knot in July 2011, and despite being in their early 20s, they knew it was meant to be.
“I was 23; she was 22. But I knew I had found the right woman and I wanted to start a life with her,” the athlete told Parents.
Following their nuptials, Ayesha put her acting career on hold after finding out she was pregnant with their daughter Riley.
“She was a borderline honeymoon baby,” Ayesha explained of how quick things changed for their family. “So that became my next move. I struggled with that for a while.”
While Stephen’s NBA career began to take off, Ayesha found her calling in the culinary world, opening restaurants around the United States, writing cookbooks and even hosting game shows, including Family Food Fight. Whether it be regular season games or championships, Ayesha is often in the crowd cheering her hubby on, while he does the same for her in her endeavors.
The couple later welcomed daughter Ryan and son Canon.
Ayesha gushed about her husband’s parenting skills in a 2016 interview with Parents Magazine. “The thing I love about him is that he’s not too cool for school,” she shared at the time. “He’ll get down on the floor and play with the girls. He’ll put on dress-up clothes if he has to, and he’s very patient, which is something I’m not. We balance each other out.”
Although Ayesha noted that “it’s a dream come true” if all five of them get out of the house on time every day, Stephen said he knows all of the difficult parts of raising three kids will pay off later. “All those little checkpoints are going to be fun, and there will be ups and downs along the way,” he shared. “Watching our children go through those life experiences will be amazing.”
Scroll down to take a look back at Stephen and Ayesha’s relationship timeline!