The Drew League in Watts, Calif., has ascended to a legendary status in the streetball community, thanks to the regular participation of NBA players and the high-quality, well-organized nature of the games. The Drew added another chapter to its legend Saturday when Miami Heat star LeBron James made an unexpected visit.
Yahoo! Sports reports that James entertained a packed gym while playing for a team coached by Los Angeles native Baron Davis, much to the delight of Drew League director Dino Smiley.
To Smiley’s surprise, James wanted to play. James was given a No. 2 jersey for a team called “Cheaters II.”James wasn't going half-speed either. In video footage shot at the game, James can be seen burying turnaround jumpers, finishing a lefty layup in transition, throwing down a tomahawk dunk, stuffing a windmill jam, swatting a shot into the stands and completing a behind the back pass in transition.
“I thought LeBron was coming just to hang out, but he asked for a uniform,” Smiley said. “The crowd was just electrified when he walked in.”
Smiley said many fans tweeted and sent text messages about James’ arrival. “Every edge” of the court in the tiny gym, Smiley said, was packed. Smiley said the gym doors were eventually closed shut during James’ game by law enforcement officers, who told fans if they left they couldn’t return.
"The best thing about the Drew League is benefiting these kids," James said on the video. "Benefiting inner-city kids that honestly don't get an opportunity to do great things. To be able to be here, doing what I love to do and at the same time giving back, that's what it's about.
"Myself and [Baron Davis], we don't do anything for the cameras. It's all about giving back to the inner city, giving back with these kids. Anytime you can shed light on situations that may not be that great ... it's a blessing. We're blessed, when you're blessed the only way you can keep the blessings going is if you give back."
Here's the video of LeBron James playing at the Drew League courtesy of YouTube user BigMarv44.
Hat tip: HoopMixTape.com.