LeBron James Surprised High School Basketball Teams With Special Gifts

LeBron James has an acute awareness of his rarefied place in the sporting world. He’s the closest thing we’ve got to Michael Jordan in this era, a superstar that so many younger athletes look up to and seek to emulate, and he takes an interest in cultivating that. Either that, or he just really likes giving away his sneakers.

James made not one, but two gifts of his Soldier 10 shoes to high school basketball teams this week. One was to the Shawnee Mission North boys’ basketball team in Kansas, and the other was to the Benton High School girls’ team in Missouri. Both were state champions last season, and James sent along notes to each team to go with his care packages encouraging them to not settle for just one title.

Here’s what his note to the Shawnee Mission North Indians said:


Now what’s it gonna take to do it again?
The squad is new, but the prize ain’t changed.
You got what it takes to stay at the top.
Don’t just beleive it.
Expect it.
I’ll be watching.


And to the Benton Cardinals, the message was similar:


Nobody outworks a cardinal. You made that clear.
But you can’t stop working. You can’t let up, not even a little.
You got that four-peat to complete.
So stay humble, stay strong, and oh yeah — stay undefeated.
I’ll be watching.


How and why James chose those two teams out of all the champions in the country will remain a mystery unless and until James reveals something, but for now, we can just revel in these kids’ excitement at getting some free LeBron swag: