A quick Google search makes it easy to dismiss Savannah James as just another basketball wife, a beautiful woman in designer clothes who poses in front of one step-and-repeat after another as she arrives at marquee events with her NBA superstar husband, LeBron James, and documents their fabulous life together on Instagram.
Perhaps the greatest irony of the 31-year-old Akron native’s life is that basking in the spotlight is really not her thing. Interviews, along with the accompanying photo shoots, are rare. And the pictures she posts on Instagram are, more often than not, shots of routine domestic moments: sons LeBron Jr. “Bronny,” 13, and Bryce, 10, before they head out the door for their first day of school; a couch cuddle with 3-year-old daughter Zhuri; birthday parties and glasses of wine poured for evenings at home.
“When you want me to be on a TV show or walk the red carpet or something, I definitely get a little bit clammy,” Savannah divulges during a recent telephone conversation, her genuine warmth radiating through the handset. “That’s a bit out of my comfort zone.”
Yet Savannah is willing to venture out of that zone for a cause. In the 3 1/2 years since LeBron announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, she has become an increasingly active philanthropist and fundraising draw, one focused on encouraging and empowering girls and young women. She sold out the Akron Community Foundation’s For Women, Forever endowment dinner in March as its keynote speaker and made opening remarks as honorary chair of YWCA Greater Cleveland’s Circle fundraiser in October. Her latest personal endeavor: launching Women of Our Future, a program that provides one-on-one counseling and support from screened volunteer mentors for ninth- and 10th-grade girls at Buchtel High School.