James Harden Biography Facts, Childhood & Personal Life

James Harden Biography Facts, Childhood & Personal Life
James Harden's biography, career accomplishments and life. Wikimedia.

James Harden, popularly known by his nickname “The Beard” is an American professional basketball player.

He plays in the NBA as a shooting guard for the Houston Rockets.

The NBA is home to scores of superstars in the beautiful game of basketball.

From the magical slam dunk of LeBron to the fast-paced style of play of Kevin Durant, the NBA is embodied with stars in every aspect of the game.

In the line of defense, one man leads the pack. Many may know him for his beards, but he is known better as one of the best shooting guards the NBA has ever seen.

James Harden is the man who repeatedly has proved his worth with his remarkable style of play.

This article on James Harden’s biography facts, childhood, and personal life presents a notable account of the important moments from his early life to date.

Other highlights include his NBA/Basketball career, achievements and awards, famous quotes, plus other on-screen and off-screen facts about his life.

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James Harden Biography Facts & Profile

Full Name:James Edward Harden
Nicknames:The Beard, Step Daddy, No D Harden
Birthday:August 26, 1989 (age 32 years)
Place of Birth:Bellflower, California, United States
Nationality:American
Height:6 feet 5 inches
Shoe Size:14
Weight:220 Ibs (99.8 kg)
Education:Audubon Middle School, Artesia High School, Arizona State University
Parents:James Harden Sr.(father), Monja Willis(mother)
Occupation:Basketball Player
Current Team:Houston Rockets
Playing Career:2009–present
Zodiac Sign:Virgo

James Harden Childhood & Early Life

James Harden Childhood Photo with mother Monja
James Harden’s childhood photo with mother Monja. via ESPN Front Row

James Harden was born on August 26, 1989, in Los Angeles, California to James Harden Sr. and Monja Willis.

Harden was the youngest of their three children.

During James Harden’s sophomore year at Artesia High School, he reached an average of 13.2 points, while Artesia went to 18.8 points.

Harden improved in his junior year to 18.8 points and led Artesia to the California state title.

During his final year, Artesia once again claimed the California title averaging the same points of 18.8.

At the end of the season, he was named a McDonald’s All-American and was honored with second-team Parade All-American honors.

Harden also contributed to his AAU team, Pump-N-Run Elite success at the 2006 Las Vegas Adidas Super 64 championship.

James Harden Basketball Career

College Basketball

During his freshman year at Arizona State University, Arizona State was picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 Conference.

After an amazing performance by Harden, the Sun Devils finished fifth in the Pac-10. The Sun Devil was considered a bubble team for the 2008 NCAA tournament.

They were selected to the 2008 NIT field after being left out of the NCAA.

They defeated Alabama State and Southern Illinois before they were knocked out by the defending national champion, Florida.

At the end of Harden’s freshman year, he was named to the first-team All-Pac-10 and conference all-freshman team and first-team All-District by the NABC and the USBWA.

In his sophomore year, he appeared on many pre-season All-American Lists and on the cover of Sports Illustrated college basketball preview issue.

He was also named to the Wooden Award preseason watch list.

At the end of his sophomore season, Harden was named to the 2009 All-Pac 10 Tournament Team, Pacific-10 Conference’s Player of the year, and a consensus All-American.

He declared for the 2009 NBA draft and employed Rob Pelinka as his agent.

Professional/NBA Career

Oklahoma City Thunder (2009–2012)

Harden, an Oklahoma City Thunder’s third overall pick at the 2009 NBA draft, had an impressive début season in the NBA.

He recorded the fourth highest 3-point percentage in NBA history for a player under the age of 21, which earned him a place in the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

James Harden with Oklahoma City in 2010
James Harden with Oklahoma City in 2010. Wikimedia.

He equally matched the success of his début season by receiving the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in the 2010–2011 season registering double figures in all appearances in the season except in four games.

The Oklahoma City Thunder attempted to sign Harden of a four-year contract valued between $52 and $55 million during the free agency period.

Harden admitted that he was given too little time to consider the offer.

Houston Rockets (2012–present)

Following the failure of his contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets on October 27, 2012.

Harden signed a 5-year contract extension worth $80 million with the Rockets.

In the 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend, Harden was selected as a reserve, marking his first All-First Selection.

Harden’s 2012–2013 campaign with the Rockets saw him join the ranks of Tracy McGrady and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only Houston Rockets to earn player of the week honors three or more times in a season.

Harden was named to the 2012–2013 All-NBA Third Team, which was his first All-NBA selection.

He was also the seventh player in the Houston Rockets history to earn All-NBA recognition.

Harden was named as a reserve in the 2014 All-Star Game.

He was also named Western Conference Player of the Week twice for the week of February 24 – March 2, March 3 – March 9, becoming the first Houston Rockets player to earn Player of the Week honors twice in consecutive weeks in the same season in 2013–2014 campaign.

At the end of the season, Harden earned All-NBA First Team honors.

In the early months of the 2014–2015 season, Harden was as an MVP contender.

However, he finished second behind Stephen Curry in the NBA MVP voting.

He was voted inaugural National Basketball Players Association’s MVP for the 2014–2015 season as we as earning All-NBA First Team honors.

James Harden NBA Career with Rockets 2016
Harden with Rockets in 2016. Wikimedia.

The 2015–2016 campaign was also a favorable season for Harden, setting career marks in 29 points, 7.5 assists, and 6.1 rebounds to join the ranks of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to reach an average of at least 29 points, seven assists, and six rebounds in a season.

Harden signed a four-year contract extension worth $118.1 million on July 9, 2016, with the Houston Rockets in the 2016–2017 NBA campaign.

He became the first player in NBA history to finish with a 50-15-15 stat line, which helped him in securing his 12th Player of the Week honors, tying him with Hakeem Olajuwon for the most Player of the Week honors in franchise history.

His outstanding performance that December earned him the Western Conference Player of the Month honors.

At the end of Harden’s campaign in the 2016-2017 season, he finished second in the league MVP voting behind former teammate Westbrook.

At the onset of the 2017–2018 season, Harden signed a four-year contract extension with the rockets on July 8 worth about $160 million.

The contract gave him a total six-year deal with a guaranteed $228 million, the richest deal in the NBA.

Harden will be the face of the Houston Rockets through the 2022–2023 campaign.

In the course of the season, Harden secured the third 50-point game of the season in a 128–118 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, making him the first player in franchise history to earn two consecutive 50-point games.

Harden also became the first player in NBA history to record 50 or more points in straight games since Kobe Bryant in 2007.

After scoring 40 points in a game against the LA Lakers on December 31, he sustained a hamstring injury, which saw him out of action for seven games.

On returning, Harden became the first player in the NBA to score 60 points as part of a triple-double in a 114-107 win over the Orlando Magic.

After a successful run in the season and postseason campaigns, Harden was named NBA MVP, making him the third player in Rockets history to earn such honors, joining the ranks of Moses Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon.

The National Basketball Players Association named him its MVP for the season, for the second time.

In the 2018–2019 season, on January 23, Harden set the fourth-longest streak 30-point games streak in the league’s history in a 114–110 win against the New York Knicks.

By February 1, he set the third-longest 30-point games streak and 11th straight game with at least 35 points in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

On March 31, Harden scored the fifth 50-point triple-double of his career in a 119–108 win against the Sacramento Kings with 50 points, 11 rebounds, and ten assists.

By the end of the 2018–2019 season, Harden was named to his fifth NBA All-NBA First Team unanimously.

On January 1, 2020, of the 2019–2020 season, Harden became the NBA’s leading scorer of the decade with 19,578 points.

Harden was also named to his eighth successive NBA All-Star Game along with Luka Dončić.

In a game against the Dallas Mavericks, he became the second-highest scorer in NBA history in a 153–149 win, registering 49 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assist with 70% shooting.

By the end of the season, Harden became NBA’s scoring champion for the third consecutive season and steals leader.

He was also an MVP award finalist.

National Team Career

Harden was part of the USA national team that claimed gold at the London 2012 Olympics and a US basketball team member.

They claimed the 2014 FIBA basketball World Cup in 2014.

Harden withdrew from the 2016 Olympics team.

James Harden Personal Life

Harden is the youngest of three children.

He is a Christian.

He began growing his trademark beards in 2009 after becoming too lazy to shave.

His beards have appeared in T-shirts as well as songs.

Adidas submitted an endorsement deal worth $200 million over the next 13 years to Harden in August 2015.

James Harden Achievements, Awards & Career Highlights

  • NBA Most Valuable Player (2018)
  • 8-times NBA All-Star (2013–2020)
  • 6-times All-NBA First Team (2014, 2015, 2017–2020)
  • All-NBA Third Team (2013)
  • NBA Sixth Man of the Year (2012)
  • 3-times NBA scoring champion (2018–2020)
  • NBA assists leader (2017)
  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2010)
  • Consensus first-team All-American (2009)
  • Pac-10 Player of the Year (2009)
  • 2-times First-team All-Pac-10 (2008, 2009)
  • No. 13 retired by Arizona State Sun Devils
  • Second-team Parade All-American (2007)

James Harden Famous Quotes

“In any situation, I’m going to be good.”

— James Harden

“There are a lot of guys who play in the NBA, there aren’t a lot of guys who have a chance to win a gold medal too.”

— James Harden

“Now I’m back in my old ways. Needing to be the leader, needing to score.”

— James Harden

“In business, you’ve got to move on.”

— James Harden

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