Basketball is life, culture and a game of spirit for those who believe in it as more than just a game. While many players have graced the basketball court and have dazzled with different slam dunks, long throws and skills, some individuals are standouts. They have redefined the culture and have inspired many to take on basketball as a career.
Today’s story is about LeBron Raymone James Sr., born December 30, 1984, to Gloria Marie James and Anthony McClelland. He is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His father has an extensive criminal record and was not involved in his life. He grew up struggling for his family’s survival, and his mother found it difficult to get a stable job.
When she realized young Lebron would be better off in a more stable family environment, Gloria allowed him to move in with the family of Frank Walker, a local youth football coach. The latter introduced James to basketball when he was nine years old. It marked the beginning of his career.
Special children always find themselves in circumstances they cannot change, but those who see positivity instead of negativity always end up with a great future.
His rise to prominence began when he began playing organized basketball in the fifth grade and later played in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars. The team enjoyed success on a local and national level, led by James and his friends dubbed “fab-four.” Furthering his basketball career, he joined The Fighting Irish of St. Vincent-St. Mary varsity basketball team. He averaged 21 points and six rebounds per game. The Fighting Irish went 27–0 en route to the Division III state title, making them the only boys high school team in Ohio to finish the season undefeated. James averaged 25.2 points, and 7.2 rebounds with 5.8 assists and 3.8 steals per game as an individual player. He was named Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team, becoming the first individual to attain such feat.
His eureka moment finally arrived when he got into his first NBA All-Star Game selection in 2004–05, contributing 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in a winning effort for the Eastern Conference. On March 20, James setting Cleveland’s new single-game points record by scoring 56 points against the Toronto Raptors. He was named to his first All-NBA Team to achieve final averages of 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. During the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, James played an important role for Team USA, averaging 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game which helped the team finished the tournament with an 8–1 record.
He consolidated effort in 2007–08 seasons; James was named All-Star Game MVP for the second time behind a 27-point, 8-rebound, and 9-assist performance. On March 21, he moved past Brad Daugherty as the Cavaliers’ all-time leading scorer in a game against the Raptors, doing so in over 100 fewer games than Daugherty. When the 2008–09 seasons was over, James finished second in NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award voting and made his first NBA All-Defensive Team, with 23 chase-down blocks and a career-high 93 total blocks. He also became the fourth post-merger player to lead his team in points, rebounds, steals, assists, and blocks in a season.
James has made many impressive records in the Basketball game, which has earned him a strong reputation as a versatile player. He is already a living legend.