Lebron James #23
All about the king
The kings earl life
James was born on December 30, 1984 in Akron, Ohio to a 16-year-old mother, Gloria Marie James, who raised him on her own. Growing up, life was often a struggle for the James family, as they moved from apartment to apartment in the seedier neighborhoods of Akron while James' mother struggled to find steady work. Realizing he would be better off with a more stable family environment, Gloria allowed James to move in with the family of Frank Walker, a local youth football coach, who introduced him to basketball when he was nine years old.
As a youth, James played 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 Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, and Willie McGee.:24 Inseparable, they dubbed themselves the "Fab Four" and promised each other they would attend high school together.:27 In a move that stirred local controversy, they chose to attend St. Vincent–St. Mary High School, a largely white private school.[ Up above in the right hand corner is a picture of Lebron when he was a kid.
Lebrons high school career
In his freshman year, James averaged 21 points and 6 rebounds per game for St. Vincent-St. Mary's varsity team. The Fighting Irish finished the year 27–0, winning the Division III state title. In his sophomore year, James averaged 25.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game with 5.8 assists and 3.8 steals per game. For some home games during the season, St. Vincent-St. Mary played at the University of Akron's 5,492-seat Rhodes Arena to satisfy ticket demand from alumni, fans, and college and NBA scouts who wanted to see James play.:51 The Fighting Irish finished the season 26–1 and repeated as state champions. For his outstanding play, James was named Ohio's Mr. Basketball and was selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team, becoming the first sophomore to do either.
Prior to the start of James' junior year, he appeared in SLAM Magazine and was lauded as possibly "the best high school basketball player in America right now" by writer Ryan Jones. During the season, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, becoming the first underclass high school basketball player to do so.:104 With averages of 29 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 3.3 steals per game, he was again named Ohio's Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team, and became the first junior to win the boys' basketball Gatorade National Player of the Year Award.:117 St. Vincent-St. Mary finished the year with a 23–4 record, ending their season with a loss in the Division II championship game.:114 Following the loss, James seriously considered declaring for the 2002 NBA draft, unsuccessfully petitioning for an adjustment to the NBA's draft eligibility rules which required prospective players to have at least graduated from high school. During this time, James used marijuana to help cope with stress resulting from the constant media attention he was receiving.
In his senior year, James and the Fighting Irish traveled around the country to play a number of nationally ranked teams, including a game against Oak Hill Academy that was nationally televised on ESPN2.:142 Time Warner Cable, looking to capitalize on James' popularity, offered St. Vincent-St. Mary's games to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis throughout the season.:143 For the year, James averaged 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 3.4 steals per game, was named Ohio's Mr. Basketball and USA Today All-USA First Team for an unprecedented third consecutive year,:178 and was named Gatorade National Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. He participated in three year-end high school basketball all-star games—the EA Sports Roundball Classic, the Jordan Capital Classic, and the 2003 McDonald's All-American Game—, losing his NCAA eligibility and making it official he would enter the 2003 NBA draft. According to Ryan Jones, James left high school as "the most hyped basketball player ever".:142
During his senior year, James was the centerpiece of several controversies. For his 18th birthday, he accepted a Hummer H2 from his mother, who secured a loan for the vehicle utilizing LeBron's future earning power as a professional athlete. This prompted an investigation by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) as its guidelines state that no amateur may accept any gift valued over $100 as a reward for athletic performance. Later in the season, James accepted two throwback jerseys worth $845 from an urban clothing store in exchange for posing for pictures, officially violating OHSAA rules and resulting in his being stripped of his high school sports eligibility. James appealed the ruling and his penalty was eventually dropped to a two-game suspension, allowing him to play the remainder of the year. The Irish were also forced to forfeit one of their wins, their only official loss that season. In his first game back after the suspension, James scored a career-high 52 points.
James played wide receiver for St. Vincent-St. Mary's football team in high school.:51 As a sophomore, he was named first team all-state, and as a junior, he led the Fighting Irish to the state semifinals. His football career came to an end before his senior year when he broke his wrist during an AAU basketball game. Many sports analysts, football critics, high school coaches, and former and current players have speculated on whether he could have played in the National Football League.[
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