NBA legend Charles Barkley is a doting dad to his only child, Christiana Barkley
Charles and his wife, Maureen Blumhardt, welcomed their only child in 1989, the same year they wed. As he entered fatherhood, he reflected on his childhood to figure out how he wanted to raise Christiana. The sports analyst has been open about his once-strained relationship with his father, Frank Barkley, whom he lost touch with at a young age and later reconciled with.
During a 2016 interview on In Depth With Graham Bensinger, Charles reflected on how his upbringing affected the way he parents Christiana.
"I want to be a good father," he said. "I try to do the best I can. It's been difficult at times because you're always traveling. But I think she's a great kid. She's a great kid."
Now that Christiana has a family of her own — she and her husband, Ilya Hoffman, have a son and daughter — Charles feels even more connected with her.
"I really appreciate my daughter becoming a mom," he said in an interview with Southern Living in 2022. "Watching her do all the mom stuff. So other than holding that little man myself, watching her become a mom is just as special."
Here's everything you need to know about Charles Barkley's daughter, Christiana Barkley.
She was named after a shopping mall
Charles and Blumhardt welcomed Christiana in 1989, and the Space Jam star later shared the inspiration behind her name.
He continued, "There's a Christiana Mall in Delaware that I always used to go by. That's how she got her name, Christiana."
When Charles' co-host asked him to elaborate, he simply said, "I don't know, I just liked the mall."
She has her master's in journalism
Christiana attended Villanova University from 2007 to 2011 and is still a proud Wildcat. According to Charles, she enjoys watching the team's NCAA games and rooting for them in every way she can, including skipping matches.
“She’s been going to a Villanova bar in New York City every game. She didn’t even want to come to the game because she didn’t want to jinx the game," he told USA Today in 2016.
After graduating from the Pennsylvania school, Christiana returned to the classroom at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, where she earned her master's in 2017, per her LinkedIn.
Christiana now uses her writing skills to help students get into their dream schools. In 2021, The New York Times reported she was the director of writing and senior account manager at a college consulting company called The Koppelman Group.
She got proposed to with a Ring Pop
Christiana's longtime boyfriend and the founder of DemandByte, Ilya Hoffman, asked Charles for his blessing while visiting him and Maureen in Scottsdale, Arizona, for Christmas in 2019.
"I remember being really emotional about it," Charles told The New York Times about being asked for his daughter's hand in marriage. "That's not something that happens all the time."
Although proposal plans were delayed due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., Hoffman got down on one knee on May 15, 2020. The moment happened after Christiana commented on a man on TV proposing with a Ring Pop, and Hoffman decided to include it in their engagement.
"I thought he was making fun of me for even suggesting the ring pop, and that he was going to say something along the lines of, 'It's not going to happen today, but it will be soon,' " she told the outlet.
However, that wasn't the case, and Hoffman took out a diamond ring.
"I said, 'I love you, I want to marry you, I don't feel right about proposing with a ring pop,' " he recalled, and Christiana said yes.
Her wedding was a family affair
Christiana and Hoffman tied the knot on March 6, 2021, at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows.
According to The New York Times, Christiana wore a sleeveless Reem Acra gown and walked down the aisle alongside her father, holding a bouquet of white and peach flowers. Charles skipped his commentating job for the NBA's All-Star Weekend to escort her.
"My only child, the most important thing in my life, is getting married Saturday," Charles explained to Jimmy Kimmel about why he was happy to do it. "I'm so excited for her and my future son-in-law. I'm just so excited for her because it's her special day."
Charles thought long and hard about what song he'd like for the father-daughter dance, sharing some options with Kimmel.
"Some Stevie Wonder, some Luther Vandross, but I'm gonna do Zac Brown [Band's song], 'The Man Who Loves You The Most,' " he added. "I love the words of it ... so I can't wait to dance with [my daughter] on her wedding night."
She's a mom
Christiana and Hoffman welcomed their first child — a son named Henry — in 2022.
"It's the greatest thing that ever happened to me in my life," Charles told the Golf Channel during the 2022 American Century Championship.
"I'm so proud of my daughter and her husband Ilya. ... It's unbelievable. I spent the night with him the other night, and I just held him the whole time. He was sleeping, it was really cool. ... Being a grandpa is the greatest thing ever."
In honor of her first Mother's Day, Christiana made a rare TV appearance on NBA on TNT. In the recorded message, she poked fun at her dad's comparison of a sprained ankle and childbirth.
As Charles has leaned into being a grandfather, he's also earned the nickname "Big Pop." He shared with Southern Living that he heard a young girl use the moniker at a charity event he attended and "stole it."
The sports commentator also revealed he's using the name more often after Christiana gave birth to her second child in 2023. Christiana and Hoffman named their daughter Charlie Eliza after Charles.
“When I hold those babies and they look up at me, there’s no better feeling in the world,” he told WBAL-TV.
She enjoys being out in nature
In 2019, Christiana and Hoffman worked from home and decided it was a great opportunity to leave the busy world of N.Y.C. and settle down in Killington, Vermont, instead.
"The biggest mountain on the East Coast is 10 minutes away," Hoffman told The New York Times about what made the town so appealing. "I can ski on my lunch hour."
For her part, Christiana loves hiking, so she was equally attracted to the mountainous terrain.
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