“I just wanted to tell you that I’m so proud of you, son,” Patricia Toscano told him. “I’m just so glad that you never gave up.”
Leaning forward in his seat, Toscano-Anderson wiped away a tear. His first standard NBA deal, which comes with a base salary next season of $1.7 million, represents more than the culmination of a journey that included stops in Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico and Santa Cruz. That contract is the reward for his mom’s dedication.
Made it official and called mom ♥️ pic.twitter.com/iZ9Dskaunw
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 14, 2021
If not for Patricia Toscano’s unwavering support, Toscano-Anderson could’ve easily been the subject of a generic newspaper obituary — yet another young man shot and killed in East Oakland. The Elmhurst neighborhood, where Toscano-Anderson spent much of his childhood in a crowded three-bedroom house on 95th Avenue and A Street, is known to locals as “the killing zone.”
Little more than four months into 2021, Oakland is on track for a record-breaking year with nearly 50 homicides. Patricia Toscano — an East Oakland native who has had a younger brother, nephew and two cousins killed in those familiar streets — wanted something better for her four kids, a life free of gun violence and worry.
“I can’t do anything but just stand up and salute my mom because my mom is the toughest person in the world,” Toscano-Anderson said. “My mom is a gangster, and…