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The inspiring story of LeBron James: From High School to NBA Champion

NBA Champion LeBron James is without a doubt one of the most legendary sports athletes of all time, with even those who are not interested in basketball confirming his legacy.

At age 38, James is still one of the biggest sports stars of the US, but the end of his career seems in sight.

From his humble origins in Ohio to becoming one of the most record breaking athletes of the globe, James’ story is an inspiration to many Americans.

With a flaming aspiration to make it in professional sports, LeBron James has been able to achieve success and recognition very few other athletes have achieved.

This guide will therefore take a closer look at the incredible story of LeBron James, that starts at his childhood full of struggles to become one of the biggest basketball players ever seen in the NBA. This is the story of LeBron James: from high school to NBA Champion.

Struggles as a kid in Akron, Ohio

LeBron James was born when his mother Gloria Marie James was only 16 years old. He was born in the state of Ohio, where he grew up in the city of Akron.
When LeBron James was still a kid, life was often a struggle for the Afroamerican family, as they often moved between apartments, not providing the family with the overall stability they needed. His father, a convicted criminal, was not part of his life nor did he support his family financially.

James grew up in the roughest neighborhoods of the city which was partially due to his mother Gloria having ongoing difficulties finding a job and maintaining her family.

Aware that her son needed a stable household to progress in life, his mother allowed him to live with Frank Walker and his family. Walker was a known youth American Football coach in Akron who saw potential in James and presented him to the sport when he was 9 years old.

James began playing at a local American Football team when he was in 5th grade.

Although initiating his sports activities in American Football, he switched to basketball when he became older.

In 2001, right before his junior year, James was the main topic of an article in Slam Magazine in which the 16-year-old at the time — standing at 6 feet 7 inches tall — was labeled as the potentially “best high school basketball player in the United States”.

Officially being given the title by the sports organization in that same year was also the beginning of James' mind-blowing career as a college basketball player.

First overall pick in the NBA Draft

A few years later in 2003, James experienced the first of the honors that would boost his career. He was chosen as the first overall pick in the NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Later throughout his career the Cavaliers would turn out to be one of the most important teams. At the age of 18, he became the youngest player ever in the history of the NBA to be drafted.

Despite his young age, he was able to show his extraordinary skills to the world, coming to an average of 20,9 points, 5,5 rebounds, and 5,9 assists per basketball game in his very first season.

These NBA stats led to the honor of being chosen as the NBA Rookie of the Year. At the time, he was the first Cavalier who won this prize.

He then graduated in his hometown from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School a year later in 2004 where he was part of the basketball team.

James was named to the USA team as a sophomore and was also selected for Today’s All-USA First Team. This was also the time when he was given one of his most known nicknames, “The Chosen One.”

After his junior year, a year after his decision to focus on professional basketball, James became a full-time pro.

Move To Miami Heat

James managed to set record after record, but his team, Cleveland Cavaliers, were having difficulties to win a significant title.

Frustrated by the overall sporting achievements of his team, James became a free agent in 2010.

He publicly announced he was going to make his first move with his new destination being the Miami Heat.

This turned out to be a good decision for James as he led them to the Heat to back-to-back championships in both 2012 and 2013. In both tournaments, James was chosen the NBA Finals MVP.

After having won his first championship titles, James said that he was going to come back to Cleveland. His return was established in 2014.

Return to Cleveland Cavaliers

James quickly led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, losing the finals against the Warriors.

The loss affected the small forward although he states that it would only add to his “determination in winning titles with the team and city he loved so much”.
In 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers made it to the Finals, giving them the opportunity to seek revenge as it was once again the Golden State Warriors they were playing.

At a 3-1 deficit, it looked like they were going to lose the series again, but the determination James talked about after the last lost Finals, turned out to be decisive as his team was the very first NBA team in the history of the competition to turn a 3-1 deficit into a victory. James was named the NBA Finals MVP.

It was the 3rd time in his already impressive career that he was given the honor.

Sign with the Los Angeles Lakers

In 2018, James made the move to the west coast as he joined the Los Angeles Lakers. He did this as a free agent, signing a contract of 4 years with the LA team. James was given the responsibility to lead and rebuild the team.
The ultimate goal was to establish the team’s comeback to championship contention.

While doing so, at the age of 33, James still managed to perform strongly, leading to imposing stats. Despite his strong season, James wasn’t able to lead the team to the playoffs.

The team was facing a lot of injuries with James being one of the players who was affected by different groin injuries. Due to missing parts of the next seasons, his performances were inconsistent for a few years.

2023: The GOAT?

In February 2023, however, LeBron earned himself the title as the greatest basketball player of all time in the history of the NBA.

The number 6 of the Los Angeles Lakers did this by achieving the NBA career scoring record, which saw him surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at a total of 38,388 points.

The record was globally celebrated with international recognition for his performance. Now, at the age of 38, LeBron James has managed to set a long list of records and honors. These include winning a total of 4 MVP Awards, 4 Finals MVP Awards, and 2 Olympic gold medals with the US team.

He has also been selected as an All-Star for 19 times, chosen for the All-NBA Team for the same amount of 19 times (13 First Team selections) and was picked six times for the All-Defensive Team.

Still active, LeBron James is widely regarded as one of the best players and is often compared to Michael Jordan in the debate who is the greatest basketball player ever.

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