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Nia Long is a proud boy mom!
The Fatal Affair actress has two sons. She gave birth to Massai Zhivago Dorsey II, her only child with ex-fiancé Massai Z. Dorsey, in November 2000. Eleven years later, she and fiancé Ime Udoka welcomed their son Kez Sunday Udoka in November 2011.
During a 2009 interview with Spotlight to Nightlight, Long, who was raised by a single mom, shared advice for other single parents. “Patience is super important as a single mother. You do have to be a little more patient because all of the responsibility is on you … ask for help!”
Long also said she’s “very hands-on,” adding, “I certainly don’t want anyone else raising my child, so if you get the domestic stuff out of the way, and the business stuff out of the way, then you have mommy time.”
The Los Angeles-raised actress met Udoka in Boston in 2010, and the pair got engaged in 2015. Both she and the pro basketball coach have busy schedules, but she told Essence in 2014 that her hectic lifestyle makes her appreciate family time even more. “I think that if you’re committed to being a great mother, single or not, you’re going to enjoy every moment you have with your children,” she said.
Long and Udoka were together for over a decade before news broke in September 2022 that the Boston Celtics head coach had an affair with a colleague and was suspended for the upcoming NBA season. The Boyz in the Hood actress asked for privacy in a statement to PEOPLE, noting that she appreciated the “outpouring of love and support” and was committed to her sons. “Above all, I am a mother and will continue to focus on my children,” she said.
In October 2022, the Best Man actress shared the first photo of herself after the scandal became public, which was a sweet selfie with both of her sons captioned with a simple black heart emoji. One week prior, a source told PEOPLE that the actress’s young son is her “focus right now,” noting, “Her priority is making sure he’s okay and staying on his normal routine.”
Despite the turmoil, if there’s any role Long feels grounded in, it’s as a mom. “Motherhood is not easy, but it’s natural,” she told Essence in 2012. “I worked hard to have the career I wanted, but I’ve also been deliberate about my personal life. None of this is a mistake.”
Read on to learn more about Nia Long’s two children.
Massai Zhivago Dorsey II, 23
Long’s older son, Massai, was born in Los Angeles on Nov. 20, 2000. The actress co-parents him with her ex, actor Massai Z. Dorsey, whom she met on the set of NBC’s Third Watch in 1999 and was engaged to for 10 months before breaking things off in 2001.
Long shared details of Massai’s birth and a lovely note to celebrate Mother’s Day 2021, writing on Instagram, “My #1. His birth was easy and quick. He changed my life … now I’m Mommy … Praise God and my ancestors for allowing me this privilege.”
When Massai was 8, Long opened up about what it was like to raise him as a single mom, which included banning morning television so they could have quality conversations and bond.
“I think the most important thing with him is balancing the time and exposing him to things, but also showing him where I came from so he can have the desire to actually be something great in his life,” she told Spotlight to Nightlight in 2009.
She added that because she was so busy working during the day, quality time had to come at night, revealing at the time, “Well my son still sleeps in bed with me … and I love it. Every now and then I get a foot in my neck or an elbow in my back, but when the whole day goes by and he’s busy being a boy and I can’t even kiss him goodbye on the first day of school because [his girlfriend’s] watching, that’s my time and we snuggle and it’s the best … it’s awesome.”
Massai graduated high school with honors in June 2019. A shortstop, he revealed to MLB.com in 2018 that he hoped to play baseball at the highest level. He went on to play college ball at Eastern Kentucky University, though his Instagram profile currently says “NYU.”
Long is now proudly watching her college-aged son navigate adulthood. “And one day he became a man responsible for his self proclaimed journey and beautiful mind. I now stand back and give him the room to create greatness. @massaidorsey mommy loves you. 🖤,” she wrote on Instagram in 2020.
Kez Sunday Udoka, 12
Despite a doctor telling her it would be difficult to get pregnant again, Long and then-boyfriend Udoka welcomed son Kez Sunday on Nov. 7, 2011. “I honestly asked God for this,” the proud mom told EBONY during her second pregnancy.
Long spoke about the joy of her second pregnancy again in a later interview with The Cut, published Feb. 10, 2023. “I thought if it was meant to be, it would happen and I wasn’t going to worry about it either way,” she explained. “When it happened, it was pretty exciting.”
Around the time of Kez’s birth, the actress reconciled with her father. The reforming bond helped her reevaluate many aspects of her personal life, including parenthood.
“I’m a lot calmer. Less clingy and demanding. When Ime has to be gone for long stretches at a time, as he had to the first few months after Kez was born, I took it as an opportunity to nest,” she told Essence when her younger son was 8 months old. “It had been a minute since I had an infant and I had to get back into the rhythm of being a new mom. I really enjoyed having the space to do that at my own pace.”
The mellow vibes seem to have been passed on to Kez, whom she’s described as her “juicy baby,” “favorite travel partner,” and “mini me.” “My good vibration baby will always be something special,” Long wrote on Instagram on her son’s ninth birthday.
To celebrate Mother’s Day 2021, Long shared a sweet message for her younger son. “My #2. Thank you for slowing me down,” she wrote on Instagram alongside a photo with Kez. “Your birth was long and difficult. I asked you why … you said you felt safe and warm and didn’t want to leave my womb. Bless the women who have become mothers by any means necessary. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY ♥️♥️♥️♥️.”
Long and Kez have often been seen courtside at Celtics games, supporting Udoka and his NBA team during the regular season and the 2022 playoffs. “Win or lose he’s proud!” the actress captioned a picture of Kez at the 2021 season opener.
In a December 2022 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Long spoke about how Kez was dealing with the controversy surrounding Udoka’s affair. “I went home to be with my son, and that was what was most important to me, because he was not having an easy time,” Long said of the boy, who she took out of school when the news became public earlier in the year.
“I think the most heartbreaking thing about all of this was seeing my son’s face when the Boston Celtics organization decided to make a very private situation public,” she said, adding that her youngest “still has moments where it’s not easy for him.”
Long and Udoka officially called off their engagement in December 2022. A rep for the actress told PEOPLE that the couple are “no longer together but remain fully committed to co-parenting their son [Kez].”
In August 2023, Long filed for legal and physical custody of Kez, claiming that Udoka “failed” to support their son. She also requested that Udoka have “reasonable visitation” that is “consistent with the child’s best interest.”