Lebron James didn't go to college. The Ohio native went straight to the NBA out of high school and has more or less been the best player since then, with any doubt of him being the best now officially out the window as Kobe Bryant has finally surpassed his prime playing days.
When James entered the NBA there wasn't the "one and done" rule that essentially forces high school kids to go to school for at least a season (or head overseas professionally like Emmanuel Mudiay). If James had been forced to go to school it's been heavily implied he would have ended up at Ohio State. The Buckeyes know this and have taken advantage of it, even giving the non-alum his own locker. And of course James has outfitted the Buckeyes with his Nike line, so the pairing makes sense.
LeBron on having a locker @TheSchott: "It's very humbling..." #AllForOhio pic.twitter.com/HpeH1FHEry— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) October 20, 2014
That being said, it's still essentially crazy that a national powerhouse is attempting to rely on and use a NBA player that never attended the school as a major recruiting advantage. You could make the argument that it's even pretty cheap as well and one hell of a gimmick. Personally, I'd like to believe that James' Nike line being utilized within the program would suffice, but apparently Ohio State wanted to go all out on this.
Of course we know all of this already and it's not particularly new news. What is a bit new, though, is the fact that Lebron James Jr. has been gaining attention when it comes to recruiting. On one hand it makes sense for the son of one of the best players of all time to receive attention, on the other hand...he's 9.
Nine. Years. Old.
Regardless of how good he could hypothetically become, the reality is he's still too young to warrant the recruiting attention. You could argue that pursuing junior high students seems slightly ludicrous, but targeting a nine year old solely because of the name associated with him takes the cake. And we're not talking small schools either, we're talking nationally relevant powerhouses that recruit predominantly four and five star prospects. So even with the steady flow of marquee recruits seemingly available, for some reason coaches like Thad Matta and John Calipari are spending time talking about and keeping an eye on a nine year old.
I know recruiting starts young, but we must be pretty bored if we're turning this into a summer story. Regardless, it shows that coaches will go as young as feasibly possibly when considering all options during the recruiting trail and it also shows that programs will go out of there way for any advantage it can find.
Still, at times it seems like a little much.