The life and accomplishments of Lebron James


Nick Redd, Sports Writer

“With the first pick in the 2003 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Lebron James……there he is with his mom Gloria, Gloria sacrificed a lot, gave birth to Lebron when she was only 16. On their own at 19, living on assistance, food stamps, and here they are a short time later, 100 million dollars in contract, endorsements and basketball, Lebron James makes a great American story, from tough times to tremendous success, he now becomes the second high school player to ever be drafted number one. His high school games were mostly aired on national TV, but what’s been most impressive to me is how he’s handled the unprecedented hype.” This quote came straight from draft night in 2003, where a 18 year old straight out of high school began his journey to become the greatest basketball player of all time. In the year 2020, 17 years later, Lebron James is not only regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time, but one of the most successful human Individuals of all time. Lebron James was born on December 30th, 1984 in Akron, Ohio to Gloria Marie James, who was 16 at the time of his birth. His father, Anthony Mcclelland, has an extensive criminal record and was not involved in his life. During his childhood, he was faced with many struggles and problems for his small family. They moved from apartment to apartment in the seedier neighborhoods of Akron while Gloria struggled to find actual work. Following this, Lebron’s mother decided he would be better off if he moved into a more safe, and stable family environment. He moved in with Frank Walker, Lebron’s first local youth football and basketball coach. From this point, he started to play organized basketball in the fifth grade, and later moved on to play AAU(Amateur Athletic Union) basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars. While playing on this team, Lebron got his first look on the local and national level, and people began to take notice. After this, he decided to enroll into St. Vincent-St.Mary high school with three of his other friends from the team. These friends would become his brothers for life as they began a basketball dynasty at the school. As a freshman, James averaged 21 points and 6 rebounds per game. As a result, the team held a 27-0 record after the season, capturing a division III state title. Sophomore year, his stats only increased as the hype became real. For some of his home games, the team had to move into the University of Akron’s 5,492 seat Rhodes Arena to satisfy ticket demand from alumni, fans, as well as college and NBA scouts who wanted to see James play. Adding on to that, at the end of the season James was dubbed Ohio and selected to the USA today ALL-USA first team, becoming the first sophomore to do either. The following year, he was on the cover of slam, and sports illustrated only as a junior in high school.  He became the first male to be named Gatorade NAtional Player of the Year as a junior in high school also. His final year in high school, St. Vincent played a national schedule, playing against nationally ranked teams. These games were nationally televised, and put on a pay-per-view basis, everyone wanted to watch Lebron. The next year, he would be drafted first overall, to his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. In his first year, he lived up to the hype, earning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, averaging 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. From there Lebron started to reach the superstar status that we all know him for today. He put up consistent stats and ended up carrying his team to the NBA conference finals in the 06-07 season, only three years after he was drafted. In game 5 of the finals, James notched 48 points with 9 rebounds and 7 assists scoring 29 of Cleveland’s last 30 points, including the game winning layup over the pistons. That game was, and still is touted as one of the great playoff performances in the modern era of the league. Cleveland went on to win the series in game 6, claiming their first ever eastern conference championship. They would move on, only to be swept by the dominant spurs, a super team at the time.That would be only the first time that Lebron would showcase himself on the biggest stage in the NBA. Starting in 2010, Lebron made it to the finals every year, a feat that only a handful of NBA players have ever accomplished. He made four straight appearances with the Miami Heat from 2011-2014 and another four since returning to Cleveland after the 2014 season. In that span, Lebron James won three championships, in 2012, 2013, and 2016. The 2016 championship was by far the most impressive as Lebron’s Cavalier team came back from a 3-1 deficit against the statistically greatest NBA team of all time in the Golden State Warriors. 

Overall, Lebron James is much more than just an athlete as he has his hands in other fields too. He is an exceptional family man, bearing three kids. He created a school for kids in his hometown where they receive free education. He has been an advocate for multiple issues over time, and has behaved exceptionally well while being under the spotlight for almost his entire life. If anyone were to sit down and write about how impactful he has been to us, they would be there for a very long time.