Because Anthony McClelland, James’ father, was mostly absent and never paid chιld support
Gloria James, mom to NBA superstar LeBron James, wears the title “Mother of the King” with pride and sports a “Queen James” tattoo on her arm.
She may be the mother of an NBA legend, but she hasn’t let it change her modest nature.
“I’m very simple and down to earth,” Gloria told pupils at LeBron’s I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, during a Q&A. “So if you ever need someone to listen to you vent, someone to talk to, someone to hug you, or anything else. We’re one huge, content family.
Gloria, LeBron’s single mother, continues to play a significant role in his life both professionally and personally. The NBA superstar says she is mostly responsible for his current level of success.
According to an interview LeBron gave to Maria Shriver of Today in 2014, the basketball star said, “I don’t know if she read about it, or she just heard about it, but from day one, I always had that mother and father inside my mother, so I never was a kid that was kind of like, ‘Where is my father?’”
He said, “I don’t know where she found the fortitude to sаy that, but she gave it to me and I never even had to think about it. I still haven’t asked her, but she had to be the best there is.
Meet Gloria James, the inspiring athlete who raised basketball superstar LeBron.
She gave birth to LeBron when she was only 16 years old.
Born on February 4, 1968, in Akron, Ohio, Gloria Marie James is the sister of Curt James and the younger sister of Terry James.
Sports Illustrated reports that she gave birth to LeBron when she was only 16 years old, and that he has never met his biological father. In an essay he wrote for Today in 2014, LeBron recounted that his grandmother, Freda James Howard, helped Gloria raise him when he was little.
However, on Christmas Day in 1987, when LeBron was just three years old, Howard passed away. When her parents died, Gloria was mostly responsible for raising her son and making ends meet with the help of her two brothers.
LeBron and Gloria uprooted his family seven times before James turned five, and it wasn’t easy. When Gloria and her brothers couldn’t afford to heat the house, LeBron, then in fourth grade, missed 82 days of school and was sent to live with a foster family.
“Just how much responsibility that comes with being a single mom every single day, you don’t have that other half or that helping male influence in the house that can—especially in my case, being a son—that can give you that fatherly love or that fatherly guidance,’ ” LeBron said Shriver. As my mother so aptly put it: “My mother figured [that] out.”
According to ESPN, LeBron’s young football coach recalls Gloria rushing up and down the sidelines in ecstasy after each of his touchdowns, but Gloria never pressured her son to become a professional athlete.
The New York Times described Gloria as “an enthusiastic fan” of her son in a 2001 profile of LeBron, who was then a 16-year-old junior in high school in Akron, Ohio. She told the media she was happy of him, but she wouldn’t push him to become an NBA superstar.
“I just want LeBron to be happy. She remarked, “He really enjoys basketball. But at the very least, I hope he can finish high school with his peers. However, a choice will be made when the moment is right.
She continued, “He’s a level-headed guy. He was always well-behaved and polite. He’s never caused me any trouble at all.
The SUV she gave to LeBron has been under investigation.
In December 2002, for LeBron’s 18th birthday, Gloria gave him a Hummer outfitted with televisions and video game console hookups. According to the New York Times, the purchаse was suspiciоus because LeBron and Gloria were known to have previously resided in Akron’s public housing.
High school athletes in Ohio rιsk losing their “amateur” status if they “capitalize on athletic fаme by receiving money or gifts of monetary value,” as stated in the association’s bylaws. LeBron might have lost his amateur status if it were discovered that Gloria gave him the Hummer rather than buying it with the $50,000 auto loan she claimed to have used to pay for it. Although LeBron was exonerated after a two-week investigation by the commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association, Gloria never addressed the SUV gift at the time.
For the LeBron James Family Foundation, she is a key administrator.
LeBron’s mom, Gloria, is the foundation’s vice president. The foundation helps disadvantaged kids in the Akron, Ohio, area, where LeBron grew up. The I Promise School, an Akron, Ohio, public school for disadvantaged kids, is one of the foundation’s proudest successes. Because of Gloria’s tireless efforts to provide a stable upbringing for LeBron, he attributes the institution’s very existence to her.
In an April 2020 video for the Family Foundation, LeBron remarked, “Without my mother and the way she raised me, there is no school.” “IPS would not exist if not for Gloria James. When I needed help, she was there to provide it. The plan was handed to me by her. My mother taught me the fundamentals of life, and when it came time for me to put something like this together, I just recalled all I had learned from her and applied it to our team.
Gloria is the grandmother of LeBron “Bronny” James Jr., Bryce Maximus, and Zhuri Nova James, the children of LeBron and his wife Savannah.
Gloria and her grandchildren are very close, and she frequently posts images of them to Instagram. She supports her sons by going to their basketball games and writing gushing blogs about them online.
I love seeing my grandsons develop into fine young me???? both on and off the court. In an April 2022 post, she captioned images of herself with her grandchildren at their tournaments, writing, “I’m so proud and I love you both very much @bronny @_justbryce!!.”
Over the years, she and Zhuri have enjoyed many a tender moment, including visits to theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios.
While in confinement, LeBron missed her the most.
During the early stages of the CоVID-19 pаndemic, LeBron’s greatest challenge was separating himself socially from Gloria. In a press conference in July of 2020, LeBron revealed, “It’s the first time in my life that I went that long without seeing my mom,” and that being with Gloria was “the only thing that [he] really missed.”
“I hadn’t seen my mom since All-Star weekend, and then I saw her two weeks or three weeks before we had to report to our respective cities,” he said. To put it bluntly: “That was extremely for me.”
During the quarantine period of the epidemic, LeBron said that Gloria’s optimistic оutlооk helped him get through it, and that she told him that they would be reunited “in due time.”
LeBron James’s first call after the 2020 NBA Finals was to her.
LeBron called Gloria on FaceTime to share the news that he and the Lakers had won the NBA title in October 2020 (his fourth title).
A video of LeBron telling Gloria, as they both sit on the floor, “Everything that you have been through, everything that I’ve seen, it’s nothing that can stop me, ’cause this s— right here, this is nothing compared to the s— you had to go through,” has gone viral on Twitter. God is great, God is good. I’ll do my best to keep you proud, mama.