LeBron James is married to Savannah Brinson James, his high school sweetheart and fellow Akron, Ohio, native. The couple, who tied the knot in 2013, share three children together and Los Angeles Lakers star James has never shied away from publicly showing his love for his wife and children.
Here’s what you need to know about LeBron James’ wife Savannah Brinson James:
1. LeBron James & Savannah Brinson James Met in 2002 When They Were Both in High School in Akron, Ohio
James and Savannah James are high school sweethearts who met in 2002 when she was a 16-year-old sophomore at Buchtel High School and James was a 17-year-old junior at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, both in Akron, Ohio.
Savannah James is the youngest of five children born to JK and Jennifer Brinson, according to Cleveland Magazine. Her father, who worked for Akron Paint & Varnish Engineered Coatings, was retired and her mother worked as a nurse.
According to her interview with the publication, she was told by a mutual friend that James had asked for her phone number after he’d spotted her at a football game. “I’m like, ‘Um, nope. I’ll take his number,’” the 36-year-old recounted, adding that she didn’t really know James, who was already a basketball prodigy at the rival high school.
She said one day she remembered that she had his number and decided to call him and he invited her to a basketball game followed by a group hangout at the local Applebee’s.
Savannah James, who was herself a softball player and cheerleader in high school, recalled being surprised at James’ popularity at his high school basketball game and told Harper’s Bazaar back in 2010 that she never expected him to become an NBA legend. She said she thought James, who she described as a “normal high school senior,” would remain a “hometown hero.”
A few weeks after their first hangout, the teenagers went on a date to Outback Steakhouse and they’ve been a couple ever since. The NBA star’s wife confessed to Harper’s Bazaar that she knew they were in love fairly early in their relationship. “I knew he loved me when I left my leftovers from dinner in his car,” she shared. “I’d totally forgotten about them, and he brought them to me. I think he just wanted another excuse to come and see me.”
2. LeBron James & Savannah Brinson James Have 3 Children & She Opened Up About Being Pregnant in High School
James and his now-wife hit a major test in their relationship very early on as Savannah James became pregnant in her senior year of high school. At the time, James was in his rookie year in the NBA, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and she recalled being scared by the unplanned pregnancy.
“I was thinking, ‘What am I going to tell my parents? What’s going to happen to his career?'” she shared with Harper’s Bazaar. “I was very scared. I was bawling. But he said, ‘It’s not going to slow me down, and it’s not going to slow you down. We’re going to keep doing what we have to do.'”
The Ohio native told the publication that she never once considered terminating her pregnancy. “That was not an option for me,” she shared. “Even if it would have been my mom’s advice, I would have fought it to the end.” By the time the high school senior prom rolled around, she was five months pregnant. On October 6, 2004, the Jameses’ first child was born, LeBron James Jr., better known as Bronny.
Three years later, the couple’s family grew as they welcomed another son, Bryce Maximus James. Bryce was born on June 14, 2007. On October 22, 2014, a year after the high school sweethearts tied the knot, they welcomed their third child, a girl named Zhuri Nova James.
3. LeBron James & Savannah Brinson James Got Married in 2013
Despite having two sons and being in a long-term relationship, the lovebirds explained that they weren’t in any rush to tie the knot. In 2010, the then-mother-of-two told Harper’s Bazaar that she wasn’t pressuring James into getting married. “I would never rush him to do something like that,” she said. “We’re really comfortable with the way things are now.”
It wasn’t until 2011 that James proposed to his girlfriend on New Year’s Eve, telling Oprah Winfrey on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” that he was really nervous and it “felt like before a finals game.”
The couple got married on September 14, 2013, at the Capella Chapel at the Grand Del Mar hotel in San Diego, California, Us Weekly reported. The wedding was a star-studded affair, with Jay Z, Gabrielle Union and NBA star Dwyane Wade among the 200 guests in attendance, a source told the publication.
The couple has been very open over the years about their love for each other. After the NBA star joined the Miami Heat in 2010, Savannah James told Harper’s Bazaar that she’d be with her partner no matter what. “Whatever LeBron felt was comfortable, I’m with him,” she told the publication. “I just love him so much. We’re soul mates.”
As for James, he hasn’t been shy about showing his wife his love and devotion publicly, often referring to her on social media as his “queen.” In 2018, he told The Hollywood Reporter that he’d be nowhere without his wife and she was by his side in high school even before the fame. “You wouldn’t be talking to me right now if it weren’t for her,” he shared.
4. Savannah Brinson James Said She Doesn’t Enjoy Being in the Spotlight
Although she’s married to one of the most recognizable athletes in the U.S., Savannah James is not one to enjoy the spotlight. The Akron, Ohio, native hasn’t given many interviews and she’s shared in some of them that she’s definitely not very comfortable with being the center of attention.
She told Harper’s Bazaar back in 2010 that she’s “always been in the background” and described getting attention from paparazzi as “kind of weird.” She confessed that she never expected her husband’s basketball career to bring attention of that magnitude to her family.
Her desire to avoid the spotlight is also reflected on her Instagram page, where she has over 2 million followers. The mother-of-three often limits her posts to one or two a month, and they’re often focused on important dates: the birthdays of her children and husband and posts to congratulate their big achievements.
In fact, she shared in an interview with Cleveland Magazine that she’s a “very private person” and gets “a little bit clammy” if she’s asked to appear on a TV show or on a red carpet. “That’s a bit out of my comfort zone,” she spilled.
5. Savannah Brinson James Is Involved in a Lot of Philanthropic Work & Is Very Involved in the Community in Akron, Ohio
Despite her desire to stay out of the spotlight, Savannah James is very involved with various charities, many of them based in her hometown of Akron, Ohio. When it comes to causes close to her heart, the philanthropist told Cleveland Magazine that she doesn’t mind “stepping out” because she has a passion for “giving back.”
Her drive to help others was instilled in her from a young age. Growing up, her parents often took in kids who were going through difficult times, she shared with the publication, including some of her and her siblings’ friends. “If they had something going on at home, or they just needed a safe haven, my mom and dad always opened up their doors,” she revealed.
Through the LeBron James Family Foundation, she launched the I PROM-ise makeover event in 2013, an annual event that seeks to help teenage girls who are economically disadvantaged get free dresses for their senior prom. The event also provides the girls with a glam kit for their makeup, earrings and gift cards for shoes.
In 2017, Savannah James launched a new initiative, a mentorship program called Women of Our Future. The program’s goal is to inspire and support teen girls in Akron with one-on-one mentoring and counseling from volunteers. While explaining the program’s launch, Savannah James said she knows high school can be tough for young women and she wanted to help create a generation of empowered women, the LeBron James Family Foundation reported.