LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, had a tough life growing up. He was born when his mother Gloria James was only 16 years old. His father Anthony McClelland abandoned them and did not fulfill any obligations.
LeBron and Gloria were helpless and had to shift from one apartment to another frequently. It was only with the help of Frank Walker, a football coach, that LeBron James and his mother found a boost to improve their lives.
LeBron James shows gratitude to childhood coach
LeBron James has nothing else but love for his Childhood coach Frank Walker, who played a significant role in making LeBron the man he is today. He provided LeBron with hope and a support at a time he needed it the most.
James stayed with the Walkers during the week and with Gloria on the weekends, per his mother’s and Walker’s consent. In the fifth grade, he began playing rec-league basketball, thanks to the encouragement of a friend of his mother. He would play youth basketball for the traveling AAU squad, the Shooting Stars, a year later. LeBron recently conveyed his gratitude towards the Walkers with one of his Instagram stories.
Frank Walker and his family took in the young boy when LeBron and Gloria had no one else to turn to. In his book “LeBron James: The Making of an MVP,” James wrote that the experience was so transformative that it changed his life. He wrote, “They made me get up every day and go to school. There were days I didn’t want to go to school. Being part of a family, a mom-and-dad surrounding … you had a brother and you had two sisters … it was an unbelievable experience for me at a young age. It opened my eyes up to become what I am today, why I act the way I am today.”
Before the Walkers offered to help LeBron and his mother Gloria, LeBron James missed more than half of his class days that school year. His mother brought him from one friend’s house to another, living a transient lifestyle. All this changed when the Walkers offered to help them. Even when Gloria found a better job and apartment, LeBron never left the Walkers completely. He stayed with his mother on weekdays and with the Walkers on weekends.
LeBron’s friendship with Frankie Walker Jr.
LeBron has talked a lot about maintaining his friendships with his oldest and closest friends. It is reported that he stays in contact with the majority of his childhood and early career contacts. Even after all these years, the two seem to be close friends based on James’s Instagram exchange with Frankie Walker Jr.
The “huge, hulking kid,” James, was the one who crushed Walker’s hopes of making his peewee team debut at running back in Akron, Ohio. But eventually, Walker joined the group of people James refers to as La Familia—people whom, despite their lack of biological ties, he values highly in his life. LeBron and Walker Jr share a close bond.
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