LeBron James' circle of life
Birthplace: Akron, Ohio
Siblings: None, but during the 2011 Fashion Week, he tweeted his support for his "sister," an "upcoming model" named LeBre'sha: "Look out Tyra, Giselle, Heidi, etc." LeBre'sha looks like this.
Twitter handle: @KingJames
Twitter followers: 9,380,998 and counting
15 things you don't know about LeBron James:
1. A sweet tooth allegedly inspired the design for his Nike LeBron IV shoes. According to this cereal/personality quiz, Fruity Pebbles fans like LeBron tend to be colorful, loud and vibrant: "Fruity Pebbles famously leak a stupendous rainbow of flavor into your milk and there's a good chance you leak your own flavor into The Milk of Life."
2. If La Mer, maker of a $285 moisturizing gel crème, is looking for a new celeb spokesperson, LeBron urges them to "get at me." He loves slathering himself with their luxurious face and body creme. At $142.50/ounce, we estimate it would cost $427.50 to adequately moisturize his 6-foot-8 frame.
3. Maverick Carter, LeBron's business manager, was a childhood friend and was actually the captain of LeBron's first high school basketball squad. He dropped out of the University of Akron to accept an entry-level job with Nike in 2003; they soon partnered with two other longtime pals to form LRMR Marketing. They are sick of being compared to "Entourage."
4. Gloria James was just 16 when she gave birth to LeBron. His biological father was not in the picture, so the future superstar took his mother's last name. LeBron's grandmother helped out for the first three years but passed away from a heart attack when Gloria was 19. Quickly, things fell apart. The city bulldozed their house when LeBron was 5, and over the next few years, James and his mother moved a dozen times, causing LeBron to miss almost 100 days of fourth grade. But no matter how much strife the mother-son duo was dealing with, "I ... knew that nobody was more important in her life than I was," he has said. "You have no idea how much that means when you grow up without so many of the basic things you should have. You have no idea of the security it gives you, how it makes you think, 'Man, I can get through this. I can survive.' "
5. True story: A Bowling Green high school football coach and basketball coach were watching some students, including LeBron, play football. The football coach called LeBron "the best wide receiver prospect in the country." (In fact, he was an All-State wide receiver.) The basketball coach said, "You do realize he's not going to play college football," to which the football coach replied, "I'm just telling you, this is the best high school wide receiver in the country, and he's a sophomore." That football coach? Urban Meyer.
6. On a recent trip to China, he hired a DJ to spin in his hotel room, 24/7.
7. He does his civic duty. He recently reported for jury duty at the Summit County (Ohio) courthouse with a book to help pass the time. He was not seated for a trial.
8. When he was 9, LeBron's mom sent him to live with Frank and Pam Walker in an effort to further his education and improve his access to the resources she felt unable to provide. Frank was a peewee football and basketball coach and encouraged LeBron to join his very first basketball team -- the Summit Lake Community Center Hornets.
9. On Feb. 2, 2013, he saw his first live ice hockey game ever at the Air Canada Centre as the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted the Boston Bruins. His take? "Pretty damn cool."
10. In April 2008, LeBron became the first African-American man to appear on the cover of Vogue. The controversial image featured him screaming alongside supermodel Gisele Bundchen; critics claimed the image perpetuated racial stereotypes and compared it to King Kong running off with a beautiful damsel in distress.
11. He's ambidextrous: He shoots righty but eats, writes and signs autographs with his left hand.
12. For his third Christmas, he received a toy basketball set from his mom. "I am not going to say I knew he was going to be a superstar," she has said. "But you could tell he was fully determined. He wouldn't play with that toy set unless [the basketball hoop] was on the highest setting."
13. He was still a teenager when he founded the LeBron James Family Foundation in 2004, which is dedicated to empowering at-risk kids and single-parent households through innovative programming, education, physical fitness and better health. In 2011, LJFF partnered with the Akron Public Schools for "Wheels for Education," a program targeting third-graders and providing them with support and mentors in an effort to reduce high school dropout rates. Selected students and their parents receive letters, phone calls and video messages from LeBron throughout the year, encouraging attendance and parent participation, as well as recognizing students' accomplishments.
14. Even though he sports saucer-sized diamond earrings, he proudly wears jewelry designed and created by his young fans, like this basketball necklace. He can also be seen wearing brightly colored rubber I PROMISE bracelets, a symbol of his LJFF efforts.
15. In high school, LeBron had to cover his tattoos during games -- he attended the strict St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Today, he's inked with countless tats, including (but not limited to) "Beast" and "Hold My Own" on his left upper arm; an image of his first son on his left forearm; "CHOSEN 1" across his upper back; "WITNESS" on his right calf and "HISTORY" on his left; "330" (Akron's area code) on his right forearm; "L" and "J" on his triceps; "Gloria" on his right shoulder; and many more.