Today marks the birthday of sports and cultural icon LeBron James.
James has accomplished just about everything imaginable in his storied career, so it almost seems odd to think that there was once a time where he was a young bull with a lot to prove. To understand James’ ascent to where he is today, you have to also understand how pivotal his high school career was to his development. To this day, I’m not quite sure we will ever see a high school athlete like James in terms of hype, popularity, and expectations. Adding to the fun, the St. Vincent-St. Mary’s team was loaded with talented players and familiar names such as Romeo Travis, Dru Joyce III, Sian Cotton, Corey Jones, and even Maverick Carter during James’ freshman year.
I spent my childhood alternating between New York and Ohio in the early 2000s. It was truly a magical time in the Ohio area as James was something of a ‘modern-day prodigal son.’ In 2002/2003, the entire state was buzzing over the possibility that Cleveland’s unfortunate luck could be turned around by securing the number one pick in the NBA Draft (which, of course, ended up being James). The then seventeen-year-old was on magazine covers, and the media frenzy was insane, with James and his team having multiple games broadcasted locally and nationally. Many years later, James is a sports legend, four-time champion, successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and more. Every career has a beginning, and for James, that start is at St. Vincent-St. Mary high school. Here is a list of the King’s top five high school moments.
LeBron James’ career has been one for the ages so far with many defining moments. Nearly two decades after these historic high school matches, James continues to dominate securing his fourth NBA title this past October with the Los Angeles Lakers. Surely there are more memorable games ahead, but for now, we’ll just let the King enjoy his birthday.