NBA player James Harden is getting vulnerable during the holidays and opened up about where his success started. According to the Philadelphia 76er himself, his mother’s support catalyzed it all.
In partnership with Therabody, the 10-time NBA All-Star discussed his early childhood Christmas experiences and the holiday moment that changed his life forever. “Getting a new basketball and then when my mom put a court in the backyard,” he said in an interview with PEOPLE, relaying his favorite fond Christmas memory.
He then expressed the wholesome sentiments, “Back then, I was just having fun…little did I know it would turn into where I am at today. Thanks, mom, you built this!”
And, while using his substantial platform, Harden is encouraging his fans all around the world to “give the gift of movement” during this holiday season. In the midst of his interview, he shared his favorite holiday tradition is spreading the love with people in his life that mean the most to him.
“I always make an effort to show the people I love how important they are to me,” the 33-year-old Los Angeles native explained.
How James Harden harnessed his talents and built a successful basketball career
Throughout his career, Harden has remained committed to the story behind his success and he owes it to his family for their unwavering support. His older brother, Akili Roberson, even recalled him constantly carrying around a basketball in his youth. “He carried around a basketball as if it was his job,” said Roberson. “I was like, ‘Dude, do you know how many people play in the NBA?’”
However, the six-foot-five basketball player also expressed an unwavering belief in himself, believing since he was a child that he could make it in the NBA. In fact, during an interview with TIME in 2017, the professional basketball shared that he wrote his mother a note in the ninth grade that predicted his stardom. “Could u leave me a couple of dollars?” Harden wrote on a note to his mother. “P.S. Keep this paper. Imma be a star.”
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Still, to this day, confidence is something the basketball player does not lack. With complete faith in his skills, he described in an interview, “I feel like I’m solid in everything: IQ, studying the game, I can score the basketball, make my teammates better. There are not a lot of guys that have all those characteristics in one.”
Harden added, “They might be way more athletic, can shoot the ball way better. But everything solid in one human body?”
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