“For me, I can’t worry about what everybody says about me. I’m LeBron James, from Akron, Ohio. From the inner city. I’m not even supposed to be here,” said by LeBron James after winning the Finals MVP this past year. There wasn’t a shout out to Ohio State, nope, just to his hometown.
Anyone who’s been following his career knows that he never went to college. So then why would Ohio State have his name above a locker in their new basketball facility?
Let me ask you this, if you were a top recruit and visiting Ohio State and saw LeBron James name slapped to the top of a locker wouldn’t you be a bit more interested in attending that school?
I know I would.
According to Ohio State officials the reasoning behind devoting a locker to the Miami Heat player is to display James’ Nike line that is worn by the Buckeyes that include shoes, jerseys and warm-ups. Ohio State has been wearing different versions of his gear since the end of the 2006-07 season, where as Kentucky and Miami started wearing his gear in 2011.
James has always deemed himself a huge Buckeye fan, having been raised just two hours away from the campus. He has frequently been seen at high-profile games decked out in scarlet and gray. Had he not been drafted out of high school and immediately gone pro, he would’ve likely attended the school.
Of course, coaches and schools will do anything to attain the best recruits they can get, and dropping a name has never hurt anyone. It’s a sly recruiting tactic, whether it will work or not remains to be seen.
When Ohio State head coach Thad Matta was asked, “does that LeBron guy have a chance to contribute for you guys this year?” all he had to say was, “I think he is going to have to earn his stripes.”
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