A decade ago, LeBron James conveyed a heartfelt tribute to his mother with the message, ‘She Holds the Title of My Champion.’

For The Shriver Report’s special series “A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink,” LeBron James penned an empathetic essay that scrutinized the precarious financial situation of American women, specifically focusing on the one in every three who are on the verge of destitution.

“I’m honored to participate in a project that is trying to help single mothers who are struggling to make a living and raise their kids, because that perfectly describes my mother when I was growing up,” declares James. “Do you believe LeBron James to be a champion? Gloria James, too, is a champion. “My champion is her.”

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At the age of sixteen, Gloria became LeBron’s mother and began residing with her own mother in Akron, Ohio. Their home was lost when James was three years old, due to the untimely demise of his grandmother from a myocardial infarction.

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We relocated a total of twelve times within a span of three years. It was terrifying. It was survival by catching whatever could be caught. My mother struggled to make ends meet by working wherever she could find employment. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, I was certain of one thing: My mother was there to provide me with comfort and security. She was everything to me; she was my mother and father. She prioritized me above all else. Regardless of the circumstances, I quickly realized that she valued me above all else. Although I went without many items, I never felt unimportant or unloved for a single second.

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Ultimately, at the age of nine, my mother executed a great sacrifice. While she was determining how to regain her footing, she determined that I required some stability in my life. I needed to remain in one location and experience the security and support she had received while growing up in a large family. As a result, she placed me in the care of the family of my pee-wee football coach, “Big Frankie” Walker. “Although it was difficult, I knew it was not about me,” she later told me. It pertained to you. “I was compelled to prioritize you.”

Visit The Shriver Report to read the remainder of James’ essay and to view additional contributions from celebrities such as Beyonce and Eva Longoria.

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