- LeBron James and his wife Savannah met in high school and have been together ever since.
- They became engaged at a star-studded New Year’s Eve bash in 2011, and tied the knot in 2013.
- The couple has three children, and James is the one of the highest-paid athletes in the world.
In 2013, LeBron James married his longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson. Their lavish wedding included a performance of “Crazy in Love” from Beyonce and Jay-Z, according to Deadspin. The three days of festivities also featured plenty of celebrity cameos, from family friend and fellow NBA star Dwayne Wade to singer Neyo, wrote The Hollywood Reporter.
The couple started off as high school sweethearts, who grabbed dinner at Outback Steakhouse on their first date and stuck together through James’ meteoric rise through the NBA.
Today, they have three children and two sprawling mansions: a $US21 million mansion in Los Angeles, and a $US9.2 million one in Akron, Ohio. The three-time NBA champion is worth $US275 million as of 2016 and is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, according to Forbes.
Here’s a look inside their 16-year-relationship:
James and Savannah both grew up in Akron, Ohio and attended rival high schools. He was a sports prodigy, excelling at basketball and football. She was a cheerleader and softball player.
They met at a football game. She told Harper’s Bazaar she wasn’t aware of his athletic prowess when she accepted his invitation to a basketball game: “I had no idea who he was.”
Later, Savannah joked to Vogue, “He met me! I didn’t meet him!”
For their first date, the high schoolers went to Outback Steakhouse. Savannah forgot her leftovers in his car afterwards, and James returned them to her. “I think he just wanted another excuse to come and see me,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.
Source: Harper’s Bazaar
Savannah also told Harper’s Bazaar she never imagined her high school sweetheart — “the tallest date in school” — would become the king of the NBA. “I just thought he’d be a hometown hero for his era and it would be over.”
But James kept rising in the sports world. Senior year, Savannah became pregnant with the couple’s first child. She was scared, but said James assured her: “‘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.'”
Source: Harper’s Bazaar
The couple stuck together. It was unclear whether James would make her senior prom due to his budding career, but he came through. “I guess you could say he was a pretty good date,” Savannah said in a speech at YWCA’s Circle 2017. “After all, we’re still going on more dates, three kids, and 15 years later.”
The pair now have three children: LeBron Jr., Bryce Maximus, and Zhuri.
At home, James said Savannah is the boss. “I’m gone a lot, so she is the boss of the household; she’s the rule-setter,” he told Vogue. “It’s hard for me to go on the road for two and half weeks and then come home and tell my kids, ‘Look, this is how it should be done’ when she’s been home every day.”
Savannah told Essence she’s been her husband’s support system throughout his career. “If he needs someone to listen to him. If he needs to talk or if he says, ‘Hey babe, I’m tired. Can I take a nap?’ I will say ‘Yeah, baby. Take a nap,’ and keep the kids occupied.'”
James said he’s apologised to his wife for some of the chaos that comes with his quest to be an NBA star and leave an unforgettable athletic legacy.
Source: USA Today
“She was like ‘What are you apologizing for?'” he said in an episode of the Road Trippin’ podcast. “I said ‘Because the journey that I’m on to want to be the greatest to ever play this game or to the point where no one ever forgets what I accomplished, I’ve at times lost the fact of how important you are to this whole thing.”
Source: USA Today
James proposed to Savannah on New Year’s Eve 2011, at a party that doubled as his 27th birthday bash at the Shelborne South Beach Hotel in Miami. Dwayne Wade apparently held onto the $US300,000 ring.
James compared the nerves around proposing to his longtime girlfriend to playing in “a finals game.” Savannah said yes.
Two years later, the two wed in San Diego. “When u have someone that’s always there for you no matter the ups and downs in life, it makes it all worth living for! So happy to call u Mrs. Savannah James #MyQueen #Backbone #QueenJames #Honeymoon,” James wrote in an Instagram post.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The next year, James threw a surprise 30th birthday bash for his wife. The theme was Miami Vice, one of Savannah’s favourite television shows — and her husband bought her a Ferrari Testarossa, the type of car used in the show.
The couple also spends time giving back to the community. Savannah founded the “I PROMise Makeover,” an annual event providing underprivileged teens with prom dresses. The LeBron James Family Foundation has also donated $US41 million of scholarship money to University of Akron students.
Actress Gabrielle Union, who is married to Wade and a friend of the family, told Vogue that the couple is “real” and authentic. “What you see is exactly what you get. You think, Oh, my God, LeBron is silly and jumps around, and you know? That’s who he is.” She added Savannah is “… a woman who really has that Midwestern ethic. And I’m from the Midwest, so I know this. It’s that you say what you do and you do what you say.”