JSYK, LeBron James and His Wife Savannah Have ~Le Cutest~ Love Story
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Can we agree that it’s pretty impressive when someone manages to stay together with their high school sweetheart? What’s even more impressive: when someone stays together with their high school sweetheart even after becoming a major celebrity. But that’s exactly what happened with Los Angeles Lakers legend and Space Jam: A New Legacy star LeBron James, who’s been with his wife, Savannah James (née Brinson), since they were teenagers. Over 20 years later, the two are still going strong and even share three kids together: sons LeBron “Bronny” Jr. and Bryce (who are promising basketball stars themselves), as well as daughter Zhuri. Precious!!
And while you’ll often see Savannah cheering on her hubs at games, she’s also got an impressive career of her own. The entrepreneur and philanthropist has owned a juice shop, designed a furniture line, and established a mentorship program—all while always looking chic AF. Sadly, though I can't tell you much about LeBron's stats (I'm not a sports girly, srry 😭), here’s what we do know about his longtime love.
Savannah was a high school cheerleader
Like LeBron, Savannah grew up in Akron, Ohio, where she was the youngest of five siblings and attended Buchtel High School (which was the rival of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, where LeBron was recruited to play basketball). When Savannah was 16 and LeBron was 17, the two met at a football game, and although LeBron was instantly smitten (his future wife was a cheerleader, after all), Savannah wouldn’t allow their mutual friend to give LeBron her phone number. As she later explained to Cleveland Magazine, “I’m like, ‘Um, nope. I’ll take his number.’”
Eventually, Savannah called up LeBron, and he invited her to watch one of his basketball games. The game led to a group hang at Applebee’s...which then led to a one-on-one date at Outback Steakhouse...which then led to a 20-year relationship. Iconic.
She got pregnant during her senior year
When Savannah was in her senior year of high school (not long after LeBron joined the Cavs as a rookie), she became pregnant with their first son, Bronny. Considering she was a teenager and her boyfriend had just been announced as the number one overall pick at the NBA Draft, the timing was...not ideal. Luckily, LeBron had Savannah’s back through it all.
“I was thinking, ‘What am I going to tell my parents? What’s going to happen to his career?’” Savannah later explained to Harpers 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.’” They welcomed Bronny in October 2004, and in June 2007, they had a second son, Bryce. Eventually, they became a family of five when their daughter, Zhuri, was born in October 2014.
She’s now an entrepreneur
Inspired by her husband’s many business ventures, Savannah decided to start a business of her own in 2013. As she explained to ESPN’s Miami Heat Index blog, “I would listen to him talk about his conversations with Warren Buffett or Jerry Jones. But I wanted to get into business too.” While LeBron was still playing for the Miami Heat, Savannah opened a cold-pressed juice bar in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood called The Juice Spot—although sadly, she had to close up shop when LeBron rejoined the Cavs, since the family had to relocate to Cleveland.
In 2018, Savannah partnered with Velana Colón to found K+ Organics, a kid-friendly organic juice company created specifically with child athletes in mind. “In this day and age, there are so many more healthy alternatives for adults than we had growing up, but it’s frustrating to still not see healthier options for kids,” she told Forbes when asked about the motivation behind the company. And since she has a passion for interior design, Savannah also previously worked with American Signature to release a line of family-friendly furniture called Home Court.
She’s passionate about giving back
While she tends to stay out of the spotlight, Savannah doesn’t mind attracting a lil attention when it comes to her philanthropic efforts. “I’m still a very private person,” she told Cleveland Magazine. “But these things reflect the passion that I have as far as giving back, the philanthropic part of me. So with those things, I don’t mind stepping out.” She’s done volunteer work with the LeBron James Family Foundation since 2004, and in 2017, she launched her own mentorship program called Women of Our Future, which is an initiative that works to empower and support young women in Akron.
In addition to running Women of Our Future, Savannah has hosted her annual I PROMise Makeover event for high schoolers in Akron every year since 2011. As Savannah recounted to Essence, “My favorite moment was when a young lady who put a dress would not stop crying. We told her how beautiful she was. She said, ‘I’m just so excited. I just never thought that this would happen for me.’ That’s why I do it. Those exact words she said because she deserves it.”
She inspired a character in Space Jam: A New Legacy
Although Savannah and her kids didn’t appear in the Space Jam sequel, they *did* inspire LeBron’s fictionalized family in the movie. According to actress Sonequa Martin-Greece (who played LeBron’s onscreen wife), her character Kamiyah James was inspired by Savannah, while LeBron’s onscreen kids—Dominic, Darius, and Xosha James—are fictionalized versions of his actual kids.
But as Sonequa explained, she made sure to make the character of Kamiyah distinct from the real Savannah. “She came to set a few times, and we had lovely conversations and just some good quality time,” she told Entertainment Weekly about Savannah. “I really loved being able to connect with her. But what I actually did was created this woman from the script...I do know that there’s going to be some similarities, of course, but there were a few interesting differences as well.”
She had Beyoncé perform at her wedding
After nearly a decade together, LeBron popped the question to Savannah in December 2011 at a New Year’s Eve party in Miami Beach. A little less than two years later, Savannah and LeBron made things official with a September 2013 wedding at the Grand Del Mar in San Diego. The super-secretive celebration included famous friends like Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, and the couple even flew in Beyoncé and Jay-Z to perform “Crazy in Love” with a full band. Casual!
They show each other love all the time on social media
Back in September 2021, the couple posted respective tributes to each other for their eighth wedding anniversary, and the posts are truly beyond sweet:
And even more recently, the basketball pro took to Insta to hype up how incredible his wife looked at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscars after-party—as he should! I mean:
Savannah and LeBron are T-R-U-L-Y a powerful duo, and here’s hoping these high school sweethearts have many more happy years ahead of ’em.
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