LeBron James’ wife, Savannah James, is a constant fixture in her husband’s life. As a matter of fact, she has been by his side since their teenage years when they attended rival Ohio schools. As LeBron continues to dominate as a professional basketball player, Savannah is one of the few people who has played an integral part in his success.
She’s more than just the wife of a likely future Hall of Fame athlete, though. She has her hands full as a mother of three, while still finding time to chase her own dreams. Savannah has branched out to try her hand at various business sectors, including a brief stint in the smoothie industry, according to Miami Herald, and a co-venture with a healthy sports drink for kids. She has traveled the world and has called many U.S. cities home to accommodate her husband’s basketball career, but don’t let her glitzy lifestyle fool you. Behind the multi-million dollar homes and Ferraris, there’s an Ohio native who continues to remain humble and never hesitates to extend a helping hand through charitable efforts.
Curious to know more about the King’s queen? Here’s the untold truth of LeBron James’ wife.
Her love for charity began at home
Savannah James grew up as the youngest of five siblings in a childhood that she described as « pretty normal » in an interview with WKYC 3. As a kid, she learned the importance of giving back to those in need from her parents — JK Brinson, an Akron Paint & Varnish Engineered Coatings retiree, and Jennifer Brinson, a nurse. According to Cleveland Magazine, Savannah’s parents « occasionally took in youngsters in unfortunate circumstances, some of whom were their older kids’ friends. » Savannah told the publication that her parents « always opened up their doors » for those in need.
As an adult, Savannah lends a helping hand to her husband’s charity, the LeBron James Family Foundation. She has done it all, including « checking in participating students and their families at the organization’s annual bike-a-thon, » Cleveland Magazine reported.
Because giving back is so important to her, it makes sense that she would marry someone who’s equally altruistic and « super, super passionate about his philanthropic endeavors. »
Giving back to her alma mater
LeBron James’ wife makes it her mission to provide some fashionable assistance to students at her alma mater, Buchtel High School, through her I PROMise Makeover campaign. Launched in 2012 with the LeBron James Family Foundation, Savannah finds girls who are without the funds to buy their own prom dresses and gives them free ones to wear to their dances, as reported by Vogue. She also meets with students’ guidances counselors « so she can learn about each girl’s challenges, » according to Cleveland Magazine.
She was compelled to start the campaign based on her high school experience. While she was able to attend her own prom — with her now-husband LeBron James, of course — not all of her classmates could afford to attend the expensive event. « And then you have a friend who says, ‘I can’t go to prom’ for whatever reason, » Savannah told Vogue.
While speaking with WKYC 3, she realized some of the girls attending her inner city alma mater wouldn’t have « the means » to purchase a prom gown, and, because she knew the dance was a « pivotal moment » in their young lives, she stepped up to the plate. « I think the impact of the I PROMise makeover can just give them a boost that they can do whatever they want to do, » she said. « These are girls who walk the same hallways that I’ve walked … I love doing it here. »
She keeps her circle small, and there’s a good reason why
There aren’t too many people who know what it’s like to be married to one of the greatest athletes in the world. And for that reason alone, we can imagine that connecting with other people outside of the sports world is tricky for Savannah James. There’s the possibility that anyone she confides in might betray her and run to the tabloids behind her back. But for specific reasons she didn’t disclose, James told WKYC 3 that she only has a « very small circle of friends. »
« I think that, you know, you don’t want to give too much of yourself to too many people, » she said. « So I keep my circle pretty small when it comes to asking for advice or help or anything like that. » The few people she trusts include her mom, her sisters, and « three really good friends » who know her inside and out. Though she’s cordial with some celebrities, they’re probably not her trusted confidantes, including, presumably, Beyoncé. And for good reason. The ex-boyfriend of James’ mother-in-law, a rapper who goes by the name Lambo, accused Beyoncé of being « LeBron’s sidepiece and that’s why Bey and Jay skipped out on his nuptials with Savannah Brinson James, and vice versa, » Rolling Out reported.
No wonder Savannah keeps a tight circle. Less friends, less problems — and hopefully less gossip!
She was treated unfairly, but it won’t stop her hustle
LeBron James decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 after seven years and moved on to South Beach to play for the Miami Heat. Cavs fans not only felt stiffed, but sports enthusiasts from the various teams that were courting LeBron with lucrative contracts were ticked off, too. Fans took to the streets to burn LeBron’s Cavs jersey, and LeBron and Savannah were even « booed in New York City » when they attended fellow basketball player Carmelo Anthony’s wedding, Harper’s Bazaar reported. Savannah called the treatment from fans « unfair, » and added, « But they did it. It’s over. »
Still, she and her husband proved they have nothing but love for the Buckeye State when they opened LeBron’s I Promise School for at-risk kids in Akron, Ohio. Students who graduate from the school will have their full tuition paid at the University of Akron, according to Money.
LeBron would return to the Cavs in 2014, as reported by USA Today, and he helped them snag a championship in 2016. But his stay was brief, as he left the Cavs again in 2018, in favor of signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. When he suited up in his purple and gold jersey and returned to play against his old Cavs teammates for the first time in November 2018, there were no jeers. This time, he and Savannah were welcomed with a touching video tribute and a standing ovation instead. Thank goodness.
Moving to Miami in the name of love
As if being ridiculed by their once-supportive Cleveland Cavaliers fans wasn’t bad enough, Savannah James was faced with another dilemma after her husband, LeBron James, decided to join the Miami Heat basketball team. Savannah didn’t seem to be as eager as her husband to leave her home state behind, pack up the kiddos, and start all over again in a brand new city. « Personally, Miami was not my favorite place. Vacationing there is great: You go for three days and get some sun, and it’s time to go home, » she told Harper’s Bazaar.
But anyone who knows her — or follows her on social media — knows that Savannah is a warm weather, beach type of girl. It was ultimately Miami’s year-round climate that won her over. « When they told me it doesn’t get any colder than 50 degrees, that sold me. We get below-zero weather in Cleveland. … I can’t wait to have a sunny Christmas, » she said.
It was more than just the promise of sunny skies that placated her. « Whatever LeBron felt was comfortable, I’m with him, » she said. « I just love him so much. We’re soul mates. »
An eye for home design
Savannah and LeBron James splurged on a $21 million pad in Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood in 2015. And two years later, they purchased a second home in the same community for $23 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. Ballin’!
Pricey and lavish homes with astronomical price tags deserve exquisite furnishings, right? Thankfully, there’s a budding interior designer in the James household — Savannah herself. When LeBron teamed up with American Signature for Home Court by LeBron James, a « range of stylish and durable pieces, including dressers, beds and desks » for children, he looked no further than his wifey to help in the design process, according to Capitol File. For inspiration, Savannah and her husband observed their sons, LeBron Jr. and Bryce Maximus, « playing in their own bedroom and how much fun they have together, » the basketball player told the magazine.
Upon the collection’s completion, she was more than pleased with the outcome. « I designed every piece for a different reason and purpose, » she said. « So I love each one. »
An organic juice investor
So what if her husband signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018? Savannah James is bringing home the bacon, too! It was announced in May 2018 that she had partnered up with a woman named Velana Colón to create « sports drinks designed specifically for the physiology of young athletes, » Forbes reported. K+ Organics, a kid-friendly, organic juice was created for child athletes who need a healthy « post-practice drink. » It’s packed with all the nutritional requirements children need, minus all the sugar and high-calories that are found in traditional sports drinks, juices, and sodas.
James is not only co-owner of the company, but she’s an investor in it as well. Being that her son LeBron James Jr. is following in his dad’s footsteps by playing basketball, this business venture hits close to home. « 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.
She’s the real MVP
With three NBA championships to his name as of this writing, LeBron James is undeniably a future basketball Hall of Famer. Forbes described him as the « greatest of all-time, » and not many would disagree. But when it comes to giving credit where credit is due, LeBron gives all the props to the important women in his life: his mom, Gloria James, and his wife, Savannah James.
The Hollywood Reporter was in attendance at Harlem’s Fashion Row gala in September 2018, where LeBron was being honored. During a speech, he made reference to Drake’s lyrics in the Rick Ross song « Stay Schemin.' » In the lyrics, Drake raps, « You wasn’t with me shooting in the gym » — in reference to Drake’s belief that Vanessa Bryant wasn’t entitled to half of former basketball player Kobe Bryant’s fortune when she filed for divorce back in 2011. (BTW, the divorce was later called off.) Anyway, after LeBron quoted that lyric, he added, « But in all actuality, Savannah was with me shooting in the gym when I [had] absolutely nothing. » When THR asked LeBron to clarify his statement, he said, « [Savannah] was down when I was at my high school, no cameras, no lights. And she was there with me. You wouldn’t be talking to me right now if it weren’t for her. »
Interviews make her ‘clammy’
Her husband lives his life in the spotlight when he’s on and off the court. Savannah James, on the other hand, isn’t as comfortable with the limelight. Everyone’s curious to know what life is like as the wife of a basketball superstar, but she isn’t so anxious to speak to the media. There’s a reason why her public appearances and interviews have been few and far between. During a feature with Cleveland Magazine, James said, « When you want me to be on a TV show or walk the red carpet or something, I definitely get a little bit clammy. »
She added that speaking to the press and doing photoshoots is out of her « comfort zone, » especially since she’s a « very private person. » But she’s open to « stepping out » and risking a case of sweaty palms if it means she can discuss one of her many philanthropic efforts.
She’s not a strict parent, she’s a ‘realist’
When LeBron James admitted that his sons, LeBron James Jr. and Bryce James, were allowed to drink wine at home, there was a bit of confusion and a ton of outrage. At the time, neither of his kids were even old enough to legally drive a car, let alone be of the legal age to consume alcohol. While wine is apparently A-okay for the kiddos, one thing Savannah James doesn’t budge on is her « no-cell-phone-until-you’re-13 » rule.
Laxed regulations are common in the James household, though, according to Savannah. While chatting with Cleveland Magazine, she refrained from describing her parenting style as strict. Instead, she called herself a « realist. » While she tries to instill in her children the principal that « people aren’t always going to be on your side or going to support you, » she also told Cleveland, « They’re not rewarded for mediocrity. » LeBron James’ wife added, « I believe that my kids can do anything they put their minds to. »