Deion Sanders' 5 Kids: Everything to Know
It seems like there's little Deion Sanders can't do.
A legendary Hall of Fame football star and former Major League Baseball player, Sanders has also dabbled in rap, appeared on his own reality television show and worked as a long-running sports analyst for the NFL Network. His latest act, however, is launching a successful football coaching career, first at HBCU Jackson State University and, as of December 2022, at Colorado University.
But in addition to his packed professional life, Sanders is also a father of five. The iconic athlete had two children with his first wife, Carolyn Chambers: a daughter, Deiondra, 30, and a son, Deion Jr., 29. He also had three children with his second wife, Pilar Biggers-Sanders: sons Shilo, 23, and Shedeur, 21, and daughter Shelomi, 18.
As a father, Sanders has been able to combine his love for his children with his love for sports. Both of his daughters were talented athletes in basketball and all of his three sons played football, with Sanders even coaching Shilo and Shedeur at Jackson State — and now Colorado University.
"Whenever we step on the grass, practice, game, it doesn't even matter, he's a whole different man and I'm a whole different person, too," Shedeur told PEOPLE about balancing the father-son, and player-coach relationship with Sanders. "So after the game whenever we walk off the field, outside of white lines, then it's dad and that. But when we get on the field it's straight coach."
So who are Deion Sanders' five kids? Keep reading to get to know Deiondra, Deion Jr., Shilo, Shedeur and Shelomi Sanders.
Deiondra Sanders, 30
Sanders' eldest child, daughter Deiondra Sanders, was born on April 17, 1992, to the pro athlete and his first wife, Chambers. At the time, Sanders was playing two professional sports — making it to the 1992 World Series with the Atlanta Braves while simultaneously playing football with the Atlanta Falcons. On Oct. 11, 1992, when Deiondra was just 6 months old, Sanders even attempted to play in both an MLB game and an NFL game on the same day, per ESPN.
Growing up as the daughter of a professional athlete was "bittersweet," Deiondra revealed in an interview on The Reflections Show. "The bitter part is because I was always judged a lot at school," she shared. "I didn't have, like, as many friends. I was always traveling with my parents."
Deiondra continued, "But it was great because, I mean, I probably grew up how every kid would want to, so that was the great part, the sweet part. It was traveling all the time, meeting celebrities, we had chefs."
While Sanders was a professional athlete for most of Deiondra's childhood, her young adult years were spent delving into the world of reality television. Beginning in 2008, Deiondra made appearances with her family on the Oxygen network reality show Deion and Pilar: Prime Time Love. Later, from 2014 to 2015, she starred on the OWN show Deion's Family Playbook with her four siblings, her famous father and his girlfriend Tracey Edmonds. Deiondra also appeared on Paradise Hotel in 2019.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she's been the director of communications for Sc3 Sports Management since June 2019.
"I do like that my dad's legacy gets me in the door," she admitted on The Reflections Show. "But I always say, I, myself and my hard work is what keeps me there … people are starting to come up to me and know me for, that I work with athletes."
Deion Sanders Jr., 29
Deion Sanders Jr. Twitter
Sanders and Chambers welcomed their second child, a son named Deion Jr., on Dec. 1, 1993. Deion quickly followed his father's footsteps into football, playing wide receiver at Marcus High School in Dallas, Texas, and Atlanta Sports Academy in Georgia. He eventually played college football at Southern Methodist University in Texas for three seasons.
Deion Jr.'s time spent at SMU earned him several headlines. In April 2013, he tweeted a photo of himself in his SMU dorm with Versace bedding, writing, "Gotta sleep good! #Versace." In August of that same year, Deion Jr. was investigated by the SMU compliance department after posting a picture of himself backstage at a Lil Wayne concert, according to Bleacher Report. And in 2015, his father called out SMU's coach for Deion Jr.'s lack of playing time on the field, per 247 Sports.
"It's hard for me to understand how the only kid that was an all-conference kid on the team as a returner doesn't start off returning," Sanders said. "I don't know how that works."
After hanging up his helmet, Deion Jr. moved on from football to fashion, launching his streetwear clothing brand Well Off in 2016. "I stopped playing football my junior year in college. I didn't go to 'the league,' " Deion Jr. wrote on the brand's website. "I had to find another way to 'ball' without sports..... I had to find another way to be creative and express myself. I had to find something else that I loved doing and that I could put my time into".
Deion Jr. also inherited his father's musical talents: The oldest Sanders son first released a rap track called "Swaggin" in 2011. Most recently, in 2022, he released the songs "Money Old" and "Kandy."
Shilo Sanders, 23
Shilo Sanders Instagram
Sanders' second son (and first child with second wife Biggers-Sanders), Shilo Sanders, was born on Feb. 9, 2000. Sanders' middle child is another talented football star — and had the opportunity to play at his father's alma mater, Florida State.
In 2019, Shilo received a football scholarship offer from Florida State, where Sanders was an All-American player in the 1980s before launching his NFL career. "If I choose to take that route, and follow in my dad's footsteps, then that's excellent," Shilo told ESPN at the time. "But I'm definitely interested in doing my own thing, too, so both could be gratifying. No matter where I go, I'm going to have the same target on my back, so it's just finding what's best for me."
Shilo ended up forging his own path, playing at the University of South Carolina for two years. But after Sanders became the head coach at Jackson State University in 2020, Shilo took the chance to play for his legendary father and transferred to the historically Black college in December 2020.
"Pops said he needed some dawgs! So I'm joining my brother to help change the game at JSU and level the HBCU playing field #BIG21 #IBelieveJSU21" Shilo tweeted at the time.
But playing for his Hall-of-Famer father has its ups and downs. The highs include Jackson State's first-ever undefeated football season in 2022. But the low is a complicated dynamic between father and son. "When I'm on the field, I'm not your dad, I'm your coach," Sanders said to Shilo in a video posted to Deion Jr.'s YouTube channel. "This is the problem, he can't decipher dad and coach."
Football aside, the father-and-son duo know how to have fun together off the field. Shilo often posts videos to YouTube of himself impersonating Sanders or playing practical jokes on his dad.
"I just like to have fun," Shilo told the media blog Boardroom in August 2022. "I keep building my brand in my mind. [My pops] was known for a lot off the field. We talk about it all the time. The combination of the off-the-field presence and the on-the-field presence that he had and the way he did it made a really big difference. I want to do that too."
Shedeur Sanders, 21
Shedeur Sanders Instagram
Another son, another football star: Sanders' third son Shedeur is also a protegé when it comes to athletics. Born on Feb. 7, 2002, to Sanders and Biggers-Sanders, Shedeur's career as a football quarterback began taking off in high school at Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill School in Texas (where his father was offensive coordinator for the football team). After originally committing to play college football at Florida Atlantic University, Shedeur flipped to Jackson State in 2021 — joining his father and big brother Shilo in what he called "a dream come true."
"I feel like what we're doing nobody has ever done. It's going to inspire more people to hop on the wave to join it," Shedeur told The Dallas Morning News in December 2020. "People are scared to be the first to do anything, so now we paved the way for others to join."
Since starting his college football career in 2021, Shedeur has made history by becoming the first athlete from a historically Black college and university to sign a brand deal with Gatorade, Fox Business News reported. The standout quarterback has also nabbed contracts with Beats by Dre and Tom Brady's sports apparel line BRADY.
"Not only is he an exceptional football player and quarterback but he is one of the most influential players of his generation," Brady told PEOPLE exclusively about Shedeur in October 2022.
Shedeur is planning on taking his talents to Colorado University next, following his father once again. In a press conference in Boulder where Sanders was officially announced as Colorado's next head coach, the Hall of Famer pointed to his son Shedeur, saying, "This is your quarterback."
"He's gonna have to earn it though," Sanders added.
But Shedeur has no problem working hard and staying motivated, because "you got to carry on the family name," he told PEOPLE in September 2021.
"You got to make something for yourself and that's my main thing every day at the end of the day," Shedeur explained. "I know when I turn 21 I'm on my own, so it doesn't matter what pops did, it matters about me and what I've done in this world and what I did with my lifetime. Because I got the opportunity to do a lot of things."
Shelomi Sanders, 18
Shelomi Sanders Instagram
The youngest of the Sanders clan is daughter Shelomi, who was born on Dec. 14, 2003, to Sanders and Biggers-Sanders. Not to be outdone by her athletic older siblings, Shelomi has made a name for herself as a basketball star — signing on to play at Jackson State in 2022.
"When I tell u GOD is Good GOD is Good! My young daughter @shelomisanders has committed to play basketball for the Back 2 Back Swac Champions @gojsutigerswbb !" Sanders posted on Instagram following Shelomi's announcement. He added, "God is so good. 3 kids on campus!" (At the time, big brothers Shilo and Shedeur were both on the JSU football team.)
In Shelomi's JSU debut in November 2022, she kicked off her college basketball career by sinking a three-point shot. "I'm so PROUD of u baby girl @shelomisanders," Sanders wrote on Instagram following her first collegiate game.
In addition to being a proud father, Sanders is also a typical overprotective dad when it comes to his youngest child — whom they refer to as "Bossy." For her senior prom, Sanders wrote on Instagram, "Thank u for coming home right after the prom baby because we had u under heavy surveillance last night because we know these young men because i coach them & I have 3 sons."
Sanders also joked with Shelomi on her first day at Jackson State about her shorts being too short. In a clip he posted to Twitter, Sanders said, "She still walk up in here with her little f------ shorts on." He added, "Who do that, knowing your daddy is on campus?"
Shelomi laughed, responding to her dad: "I gotta look cute."