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Bronny James, the eldest son of NBA great LeBron James, went into cardiac rest at a University of Southern California basketball practice on July 24. Thankfully, the 18-year-old survived the scare and is at home resting and recovering.

During the ordeal, the four-time NBA champion was at his son’s side, with many fans talking about the pair’s close relationship. Their tight-knit bond is apparent as James has worked hard to be a good father. Many supporters say this is because his own father, Anthony McClelland, was absent as the basketball player grew up.

Fans often wonder, “Does LeBron James’ father have a role in his life these days?”

LeBron James’ father, Anthony McClelland

King James did not have much stability as a child growing up in Akron, Ohio. His mother, Gloria (Glo) Marie James, got pregnant when she was only 16 years old. She claims she had “casual sex” with Anthony McClelland, the NBA legend’s father.

According to ESPN, McClelland has spent time in state and county prisons and received convictions involving theft, arson, and other crimes. Glo has also spent time in the county jail, accused of criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct, contempt of court, and playing music too loudly.

With a single mother and an absent father, James lacked structure growing up. He skipped school and stayed up late watching TV. After James missed 82 out of 160 days in the fourth grade, Glo realized she needed to find a more stable environment for her growing son, believing she could not provide what he needed.

Where is Anthony McClelland now?

McClelland was never part of their lives. As Glo struggled to find work, James’ father was in and out of jail. With a criminal record dating back to the late ’90s, he was convicted again in 2006 of drug trafficking and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

According to Sports Manor, James claims to be grateful for not having a relationship with his father. More than a decade ago, while playing for the Miami Heat, the legendary player posted a message to his father on Instagram:

“Like, Wow, Dad, you know what, I don’t know you. I have no idea who you are, but because of you is part of the reason who I am today. The fuel I use — you not being here — it’s part of the reason I grew up to be who I am. It’s part of the reason why I want to be hands-on with my endeavors…So me in a position allowing people around me to grow, that maybe wouldn’t have happened if I had two parents, two sisters, a dog, and a picket fence, you know.”

LeBron James’ father figure was a local basketball coach named Frank Walker

Despite never having a relationship with his father, James did have a mentor who changed the course of his life. When Frank Walker, a local coach, found out Glo needed help with her son, he and his wife agreed to take James in.

The Lakers player maintained his relationship with his mother but found the structure he needed with the Walkers. He turned things around and, in fifth grade, never missed a day of school. In the sixth grade, Glo considered a move to New York, but the Walkers insisted she stay, getting her a permanent apartment.

James kept living with the Walker family and, by eighth grade, was a 6-foot teen playing AAU basketball. He won over 200 games with his friends, suddenly becoming a top-five national prospect.

The No. 1 overall pick of the NBA draft had a growth spurt in the 10th grade, and at six-six three-quarters inches, he was unstoppable on the court. Despite his tumultuous upbringing, he was on his way to becoming one of the best players in NBA history.

Today, the legendary basketball player has a loving relationship with his wife, Savannah James, who he married in 2013. The couple were high school sweethearts and had spent a lifetime supporting and loving each other.

Together they share three children, Bronny (18), Bryce (16), and Zhuri (8). The NBA champion has a loving relationship with his mother but still has no contact with McClelland.


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