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Health & Parenting

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LeBron James Pays Homage to the Mothers in His Life

The NBA superstar credits his mother and his girlfriend for making him both the athlete and the family man he is today.

How LeBrons Gives Back continued...

"For me, the goal was to have a camp where kids could learn teamwork, learn to be unselfish on the court and off," says James. "Yes, we'll teach them to make a good jump shot, but they need to learn that the important thing is school."

James is at the camp each day, scrimmaging with the kids, working out with them, sharing meals. They quickly discover that if they want to succeed, they have to stay focused on basketball and not on James.

The camp, executive director Damon Haley emphasizes, is for the committed. "We're talking 45 hours of basketball over five days," Haley says. "It's about basketball, but it's also about hard work and teamwork."

And James, says Haley, wants the kids to learn by example. "He works out as much as the kids," Haley says. "He instructs them as they play, and when he's near the court he makes sure they know it's their job to stay engaged in the game.

"It's an opportunity for the kids to see James unplugged," Haley continues. "For James, it's his mission to give back to the game that has given so much to him."

Although King's Academy is open only to kids, a LeBron James camp for adults is coming soon -- to the big screen. Fantasy Basketball Camp, a comedy starring James is going into production this summer, to be directed by Malcolm D. Lee of Undercover Brother and Soul Man fame. James, of course, is no stranger to the screen. He has hosted Saturday Night Live and appeared in HBO's Entourage.

LeBrons Talks About His Mother

With Mother's Day this month, James' thoughts turn to honoring the two women at the center of his life. It's a conversation that inevitably leads back to his own childhood and the way his mom raised him.

Asked if he recalls one piece of his mother's advice above all others, he laughs. "I'm like a sponge. I take everything in, everything she told me."

Then he adds mischievously, "Now, I'm not saying that I followed every piece of advice she gave me. But I did file it away for later." He's quiet a moment, takes a breath.

"She taught me to know the difference between right and wrong. Sometimes you may do the wrong thing, for the excitement" -- he demurs when asked for an example -- "but you have to know what's right, what's wrong, and be ready to deal with that. ... My mom, she set me up for the life I have now," he says.

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