CLEVELAND-- Iman Shumpert is still in awe of the miracle of life after delivering his daughter last week.
“There’s no better feeling than just to hold your child, first born at that, for the first time. And I’ve never felt a feeling like that,” Shumpert said. “It seems like every time I try to relive the story, I get choked up.”
Iman Shumpert Jr. came into the world by surprise at 6:42 a.m. on Wednesday. The shooting guard said he just got home from the Cavs game against the Celtics when his fiancée, singer Teyana Taylor, started having contractions. The baby wasn't due until Jan. 16.
“It’s crazy because the next day I was supposed to do the classes for helping her with the pushing,” Shumpert said. “I was supposed to do the classes the next day and we had just flown in from Boston. It all happened at once.”
When asked on Tuesday how he knew what to do, he said: “It didn’t. I just sort of went with instinct, I guess. She was in pain, said she felt her coming and I just got good hands."
Shumpert called 911 and a dispatcher talked him through how to cut the umbilical cord.
“I did a good job catching her and a good job getting myself calm enough to let my fiancée push out, but she did the carrying and the pushing,” Shumpert said with a smile. “I just had the easy job of catching my daughter, crying like a baby and tying the umbilical cord. That’s all I did.”
“I was hoping the EMS would get there faster,” he said while laughing. “By the time they came, I already had her wrapped in a blanket, umbilical cord tied and they were telling me, ‘Hey man, you did a pretty good job with that.’”
Shumpert said he wants to give his daughter, who he calls Junie, everything he didn't have growing up, without spoiling her.
“You’re going to get me emotional. I just stare at her all day really. You know, she’s beautiful. She took the best qualities from me and Teyana, and there you have her,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “She doesn’t cry much, she smiles a lot. She’s very active and already has her own little personality.”
Shumpert and Taylor got engaged last month during their baby shower at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art.