Many people have heard of LeBron James or maybe even seen him play once or twice, but a lot of people do not know much else about the basketball player that many are calling “The Next Michael Jordan.” The twenty-one-year-old phenom has made a huge impact on the NBA in the three years he has been playing. He has already placed himself in the short list of top NBA players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, and Steve Nash.
LeBron Raymone James was born on December 30, 1984 in Akron, Ohio. LeBron and his mother lived alone together for most of his childhood, struggling to earn enough money to live comfortably. He often used basketball as a way to escape the difficulties in his life. Things began to turn around for LeBron James and his mother when his mother started dating a man named Eddie Jackson.
As LeBron James reached middle-school, the media began hyping his incredible basketball talent at such a young age. The media exposure that LeBron received would only increase during his time at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron. During his freshman year in high school, LeBron James averaged 18.2 points and 6 rebounds a game. The team went on to win the Division III Basketball State Championship in Ohio, finishing with a perfect 27-0 record. LeBron also starred on the football team for St. Vincent-St. Mary.
The following year, LeBron James once again led his team to a victory in the state championship game. During his sophomore season, he averaged 27.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and four steals per game. These incredible stats earned LeBron the title of “Mr. Basketball” in the state of Ohio.
During his sophomore year, he also was honored by USA Today as a player on the All-USA First Team. USA Today had never picked a sophomore for this team before they chose LeBron James. After his sophomore year, he chose to stop playing football despite earning First Team All-State honors.
The honors kept rolling in during his junior year. He was once again named “Mr. Basketball” and received the same honors from USA Today. In addition to these honors, he was named as Gatorade’s National Player of the Year. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, and SLAM Magazine. Many of his high school basketball games started being played on national television as well.
During his senior year, LeBron James received all of the basketball honors once again as St. Vincent-St.Mary’s basketball team captured their third state title during LeBron’s playing career. LeBron was also invited to countless national high school all-star basketball games where he collected several MVP awards.
In the 2003 NBA Draft, LeBron James was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He led the Cavs to an eighteen win improvement during the season, registering 20.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. His impressive play earned him the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
During the off-season, LeBron James played basketball for Team in the Olympics where he helped them win the bronze medal. After winning the bronze, LeBron began playing with the Cavs again. He was named to the NBA All-Star team in his second season.
LeBron James was named to the NBA All-Star team once again during the 2005-2006 season. He earned the MVP Award at the All-Star game after scoring twenty-nine points. His spectacular play helped the Cavs reach the NBA play-offs for the first time since 1998.