Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is widely regarded as one of the best players to have ever played the sport. Throughout his illustrious career, the future Hall of Famer has passed on the credit of all his many achievements to someone who he considers to be the greatest mother in the world: none other than LeBron’s own mom, Gloria James.
Being the mother of a bona-fide superstar, Gloria has also had her fair share of time in the spotlight. We shine the lights on her again today as we present our everything-you-need-to-know piece on Gloria James.
Gloria Marie James was born on Feb. 4, 1968. She was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. At just 16 years of age, she got pregnant with LeBron, and he was born on Dec. 30, 1984.
LeBron’s biological father, Anthony McCelland, has a criminal history and has never been involved in his son’s life. This left Gloria to raise LeBron on her own with the help of Gloria’s mother, Freda James. Unfortunately, Freda passed away when LeBron was just 3 years old, and Gloria, who was just 19 at that time, struggled mightily to raise her son as a single mom.
Gloria was unable to find a steady source of income, which resulted in their small family bouncing from apartment to apartment for several years. She did not graduate from high school, which made finding employment much more difficult for her.
Gloria made one of the most difficult decision of her life at age 24 — LeBron was nine at that time — when she sent her son away to live with a different family. She knew that she could no longer support LeBron, so she sent him to live with his football coach at that time, Frank Walker, and his family. It was actually “Big Frankie” who introduced LeBron to basketball.
Fast-forward a few years later, and LeBron would have an astronomic and highly publicized rise to fame. This changed everything for Gloria and her only son, and all of a sudden, all their hard work and perseverance were rewarded a hundredfold.
In 2003, months before LeBron was drafted in the NBA, Gloria gifted her son a $50,000 Hummer H2 for his 18th birthday, which she reportedly even took out a loan for. This caused quite a stir, with the Ohio High School Athletic Association even going as far as doing a full-blown investigation on the lavish gift. However, nothing came of it.
Gloria stood by her son’s side throughout his journey to the NBA, and they remain close to this day. While there have been a few nasty rumors out there (Delonte West, Da Real Lambo) involving them, nothing has ever been proven and that hasn’t gotten in the way of their relationship:
Gloria is extremely close to her grandchildren. She has been there to help her son and his wife Savannah raise their three beautiful children: Bronny, Bryce, Zhuri.
Gloria James has done a tremendous job raising not only one of the best basketball players ever, but a truly genuine, compassionate, and admirable man in LeBron James.