LeBron James: How Basketball Rescued My Mother and Me from Poverty

LeBron James: How Basketball Rescued My Mother and Me from Poverty

LeBron James’ parents: The NBA player is one of the world’s most famous athletes, but many people are inquisitive about his parents and where he originated from.

'Basketball changed my life': LeBron James was from poverty to wealth, Story of King who was raised by Single mother

If it wasn’t already obvious, LeBron James solidified his status as one of the greatest basketball players in history on Feb. 7, 2023, when he shattered Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career points record. Breaking that record may have solidified his legacy, but it also raised questions about LeBron’s origins and who his parents are.

Who are the parents of LeBron James?

Gloria Marie James gave birth to LeBron in Akron, Ohio, in 1984. He was born when she was only 16 years old. Anthony McLelland, his father, had an extensive criminal past and was not involved in his life.

'Basketball changed my life': LeBron James was from poverty to wealth, Story of King who was raised by Single mother

Gloria’s mother and grandmother both died shortly after LeBron was born, leaving her to care for her son and her younger brothers on her own, according to The Guardian.

Making ends meet was frequently a hardship in his earlier years. Gloria tried to find a consistent employment to support LeBron and his family as they traveled from apartment to apartment. LeBron missed 100 of 162 days of school in one year.

'Basketball changed my life': LeBron James was from poverty to wealth, Story of King who was raised by Single mother

Gloria has recently stated, “I wouldn’t wish some of what we went through on anyone.” “Not on my worst enemy.”

The time LeBron met Frank Walker, who eventually decided to take care of him after it became clear that Gloria was struggling to pay for him, was apparently the turning point for him.

'Basketball changed my life': LeBron James was from poverty to wealth, Story of King who was raised by Single mother

“My life was transformed. “I had a place to stay and food,” LeBron told The Guardian in 2003. “I’ll never forget what the Walkers, especially Frank, did for me.” He doesn’t get enough credit since he’s so quiet, but he was the first to offer me a basketball and the first to show genuine interest.”

LeBron didn’t pick up a basketball until he was nine years old

While many great prodigies begin at an early age, LeBron did not begin seriously learning the game of basketball until he was nine years old and living with the Walkers. He began playing organized basketball in the fifth grade and quickly demonstrated the type of promise that suggested he had talent. By the end of his high school career, he had led his high school team to multiple state championships and was widely regarded as an exciting basketball prospect.

'Basketball changed my life': LeBron James was from poverty to wealth, Story of King who was raised by Single mother

“His gift is that you can teach him something and he catches on really quick,” Frank told The Guardian. “Show him something once or twice, and he’ll take it.” It takes a lot longer with other youngsters. That’s his talent.”

Of course, his natural athleticism, ball skills, and basketball IQ helped his career as well.

As LeBron enters his 20th season, it’s evident that he’ll go down as one of the game’s all-time greats. No one knows when, if ever, his scoring record will be broken — but regardless of how long that record stands, his name is already included among the best to ever play the game.

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