During his high school years, LeBron James rose to fame as a basketball prodigy. He had an impressive junior year, recording 28 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 6 assists, which made him one of the greatest high school prospects ever. This earned him the attention of major brands that wanted to partner with him. However, since he was not allowed to make money from his image, it was his school, St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, that reaped the benefits, earning up to $298,000 in revenue. Despite this, LeBron’s mother Gloria James was surprised when her son was charged $40 for parking. In his senior year, LeBron continued to impress on the court, leading his team to a 26-1 record while averaging 29.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. He was expected to be the first pick of the 2003 Draft, and top shoe brands like Nike, Adidas, and Reebok courted him. Adidas offered him a $60 million deal, but he turned it down to attend his prom. He also rejected Reebok’s offer of $115 million and instead chose to sign with Nike for $87 million.
During his senior year in high school, LeBron James was a highly anticipated and widely talked about athlete across the nation. His dominance on the court led to all of St. Vincent-St. Mary’s games being nationally televised by ESPN, and he even graced the covers of several prestigious sports magazines. Despite all the attention and revenue he brought to the school, LeBron did not receive any special treatment. In fact, he had to pay $40 for parking at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, much to the dismay of his mother, as revealed in an excerpt from ESPN’s article, The Path To Greatness. Gloria James was upset that her son, who helped generate $298,000 in revenue for the school during the 2001-02 season, was treated like any other student. She questioned why LeBron had to pay for parking when he had already paid for the sound system.
The school administration did a commendable job of treating LeBron James equally to avoid any resentment from other students’ parents. Treating him like any other student played a crucial role in shaping the humble personality that the Los Angeles Lakers superstar possesses today. When LeBron first joined the Cleveland Cavaliers, his arrival generated a lot of media hype, which did not sit well with some of his new teammates. Players such as Carlos Boozer, Smush Parker, and Darius Miles openly expressed their hostility towards the rookie sensation. In a video uploaded by Bleacher Report, LeBron’s future teammates appeared to lack confidence in him. Nevertheless, the 6-foot-9 Forward proved his doubters wrong by averaging 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game, ultimately winning the 2004 Rookie of the Year Award.