SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - A San Francisco woman won a nationwide contest sponsored by NBA basketball superstar LeBron James. The contest was for small business owners.
Yolanda Jones was never much of a LeBron fan, but she is now.
"I was a LeBron fan watching TV with my son. Now I’m a total LeBron fan. I'm Team LeBron at this point," she said with a laugh. And it appears James has become a fan of hers.
Jones started her own business in Bayview- Hunters Point six years ago, YCAT-C, which stands for Yolanda's Construction and Traffic Control.
It provides traffic safety equipment at construction sites including flaggers.
Jones heard about a nationwide contest called Pitch LeBron, for small business owners who had 23 seconds to tell their story. Hers was a social message that said in part:
"Put down the guns, put down the drugs and pick up a (traffic) sign."
The contest was a social media promotion for James reality TV show on CNBC about entrepreneurs called Cleveland Hustles.
She was surprised when she got the word.
"I was like oh my God I really won," she said.
Her prize: A mention and words of encouragement on LeBron’s Facebook page where he has 23 million followers. That's a lot of exposure.
Jones says she wants her business to grow so he can hire more disadvantaged young people and get them off the streets.
Jones started YCAT-C in honor of her 16 year-old son Leonard Bradley. He was shot to death by San Pablo police in 2009 while sitting in a stolen car.
Her business carries a message.
"If you were thinking about selling drugs don't do it. Let me show you a better way. You can make the same amount of money and don't have to risk your life.
Your mother doesn't have to cry at your grave," she said.
Jones is hoping LeBron will one day pay her a visit, mostly so her teenage son can meet his second biggest idol, next to his mom.
"It's huge to see all her hard work and helping others pay off, and get bigger," said Rome Jones.