Mostly Credited As: LeBron James
Sometimes Credited As: The Chosen One
Birth Name: LeBron Raymone James
Date Of Birth: December 30, 1984 (Age 29)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Akron, OH
Height: 6' 8" (2.03 m)
LeBron Raymone James was born on December 30, 1984 in Akron, Ohio. His mother Gloria James was only 16 at the time and six months shy of graduating from high school when James was born. James moved frequently from one home to another. Gloria began dating a man named Eddie Jackson. Jackson became a father figure to the young LeBron. Jackson would later support LeBron at his high school basketball games.
LeBron James went to school at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron. In his freshman year, he was the starting point guard. James averaged 18.2 points and 6 rebounds per game in his freshman year, 27.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in his sophomore year, and 29.7 points and 8.4 rebounds in his junior year. His school won division titles in three of his four high school years. James was named Mr. Basketball Ohio for the third straight year. His popularity soared to new heights, forcing his team to move from their playing at the school gym to the nearby James A. Rhodes Arena at the University of Akron. Even celebrities like Shaquille O'Neal attended his games.
LeBron legally lost his NCAA eligibility by participating in more than two high school all-star events. After high-school, James went into the NBA Draft. James was the first overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He signed a $90 million dollar shoe contract with Nike before he even played a game. James would not disappoint marketers and fans, winning Rookie Of The Year and averaged 20.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game, becoming the third rookie to average over 20 points behind Oscar Robertson and his childhood idol Michael Jordan.
In the 2004-2005 season, James became the youngest player in NBA history to register a triple-double (double digits in three statistical categories such as points, assist, rebounds) and the youngest player to score 50 points in one game (56 points in a loss to the Toronto Raptors). He also made the 2005 All Star team. James joined a select group of players to average over 25 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds in a season (together with Larry Bird, Jordan, and Robertson). Once again, James failed to make it to the playoffs.
In the 2005-2006 season, the Cavaliers added Larry Hughes, Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall. Mike Brown was brought in as the new head coach. At the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, James led the Eastern Conference team to victory against the West. He won the All-Star game's MVP, becoming the youngest player in NBA history. On March 29, 2006, the Cavaliers clinched a playoff spot. It was LeBron's first playoff and Cleavland's first since 1998. In three years time, James has transformed the Cavaliers from a struggling team (just 17-65 the season before James arrived) into a play-off contender. James and the Cavs made it to the Eastern Conference Semi-finals, where they lost to the Detroit Pistons in game 7.