LeBron James was born on December 30, 1984 in Akron, Ohio to his mother, Gloria Marie James. Few high school basketball players attract notice outside their home state, but by his junior year, James had caught the attention of basketball fans across the country. James's decision to go professional right out of high school renewed the debate over whether players should be allowed to play for the NBA at such a young age. Ignoring the debate and following his own instincts, James opted to skip college and head for the NBA.
Coming off a terrible season, tying for the worst record in the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers had a chance to reshape their future in June of 2003: they had the number-one draft pick. They chose James. When he made his official NBA debut in the fall of 2003 in a game against the Sacramento Kings, he answered the concerns of many doubters. The Cavaliers lost the game, but James played better than most rookies could hope for in a debut game—and better than any rookie straight out of high school—with twenty-five points, nine assists, six rebounds, and four steals. In April of 2004, James was named the Rookie of the Year for the 2003–04 season.
James has gone on to win three NBA championships (2012, 2013, 2016), four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013), three NBA Finals MVP Awards (2012, 2013, 2016), two Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012), an NBA scoring title (2008), and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award (2004). James currently plays small forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has also been selected to 13 NBA All-Star teams, 12 All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams, and is the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer. James has held numerous endorsement contracts with companies including Coca-Cola, Dunkin' Brands, McDonald's, Nike, State Farm, and Samsung.