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While the Legacy: The True Story of the L.A. Lakers star and Savannah are celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary this fall, the pair have a love story that goes all the way back to the early 2000s. At the time, LeBron was 17 years old attending St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, where he had been recruited to play on the basketball team. Although 16-year-old Savannah grew up in the same Ohio city as LeBron, she attended the rival high school. The teenagers crossed paths when a mutual friend told Savannah that LeBron had asked for her phone number.
“I’m like, ‘Um, nope. I’ll take his number,” she told Cleveland Magazine in 2018. “One day I’m sitting around — I was probably bored or something — and I’m like, ‘Oh, I forgot! I have this number for this guy that I can call. He seemed interested, so let’s see.’”
After calling him, LeBron invited her to one of his basketball games. Reflecting back on their early days, Savannah admitted that she didn’t know much about LeBron's basketball talent. "I had no idea who he was," she told Harper’s Bazaar in 2010, according to Bustle. The sports event turned into a group hangout at an Applebee’s. Shortly after, the future NBA superstar asked Savannah out on a date to have dinner at an Outback Steakhouse.
Despite being unaware about LeBron’s talent on the court, Savannah took it in stride — and LeBron has never forgotten this. “Savannah was with me shooting in the gym when I [had] absolutely nothing,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. “[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.”
In 2003, the Space Jam: A New Legacy star graduated high school and was the no. 1 overall pick at the NBA Draft. That same year, during Savannah’s senior year of high school, she learned that she was pregnant with the couple’s first child. Her initial reaction was fear, but LeBron reassured her that they would meet the unexpected news with grace.
“'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,'” she told Harper’s Bazaar, according to Business Insider.
On October 6, 2004, Savannah gave birth to their firstborn son, LeBron James Jr., affectionately called Bronny. Nearly three years later, on June 14, 2007, the couple welcomed another boy, Bryce Maximus.
After a decade together, LeBron got on one knee and proposed to his high school sweetheart on New Year’s Eve 2011. He asked Dwyane Wade to hold the pear-shaped diamond ring all night, right up until the ball dropped. A few minutes after midnight, Savannah said yes to marrying LeBron and a reported $300,000 sparkler.
"I was nervous. It felt like before a finals game," LeBron later told Oprah Winfrey in 2012. "I had been thinking about it for a while, but it just came to me one day and I was like, 'This is a part of growth for me.' This is the lady and the woman I have been with through all the good and all the bad. She's been there for a long time and I wanted her to continue to be there with me, so I felt like at that moment it was time."
On September 14, 2013, LeBron and Savannah officially tied the knot at the Capella Chapel Grand Del Mar hotel in San Diego. A total of 200 family and friends got together for the three-day celebration, including teammate Dwyane accompanied by Gabrielle Union, Jay-Z and Ne-Yo.
The following year, on October 22, 2014, the duo had their third child, a daughter named Zhuri. Today, LeBron and Savannah are stronger than ever. With the basketball star continuing to achieve milestones, Savannah works on philanthropic efforts to empower girls and young women.
“He is truly a king to his queen, if you will,” Savannah said to Cleveland Magazine about her husband. “He treats me with so much respect — I mean, it’s hard to not love him, with the way that he is with me and the kids and his mom and just everyone who’s around him. He’s a really, really humble guy for everything that he has and everything that he’s done.”
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