Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials, MJ, is an American retired professional basketball player, businessman, and principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Chicago Bulls and his biography on the NBA website states, By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s, Jordan played three seasons for coach Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina. As a freshman, he was a member of the Tar Heels national championship team in 1982, Jordan joined the Bulls in 1984 as the third overall draft pick. He quickly emerged as a star, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, demonstrated by performing slam dunks from the throw line in slam dunk contests, earned him the nicknames Air Jordan. He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball, in 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a three-peat. Jordan retired for a time in January 1999, but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Wizards. Among his numerous accomplishments, Jordan holds the NBA records for highest career regular season scoring average and highest career playoff scoring average. In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN and he became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015. Jordan is also known for his product endorsements and he fueled the success of Nikes Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1985 and remain popular today. Jordan also starred in the 1996 feature film Space Jam as himself, in 2006, he became part-owner and head of basketball operations for the then-Charlotte Bobcats, buying a controlling interest in 2010. In 2015, Jordan became the first billionaire NBA player in history as a result of the increase in value of NBA franchises and he is the third richest African American, behind Oprah Winfrey and Robert F. Smith. Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Deloris, who worked in banking and his family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, when he was a toddler. Jordan is the fourth of five children and he has two older brothers, Larry Jordan and James R. Jordan, Jr. one older sister, Deloris, and a younger sister, Roslyn. Jordans brother James retired in 2006 as the Command Sergeant Major of the 35th Signal Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the U. S. Army. Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, where he highlighted his athletic career by playing basketball, baseball and he tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year, but at 511, he was deemed too short to play at that level. His taller friend, Harvest Leroy Smith, was the only sophomore to make the team, motivated to prove his worth, Jordan became the star of Laneys junior varsity squad, and tallied several 40-point games
Cal Ripken Jr.
Calvin Edwin Cal Ripken Jr. nicknamed The Iron Man, is an American former baseball shortstop and third baseman who played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Baltimore Orioles. One of his positions most offensively productive players, Ripken compiled 3,184 hits,431 home runs, and 1,695 runs batted in during his career and he was a 19-time All-Star and was twice named American League Most Valuable Player. Ripken holds the record for games played,2,632, surpassing Lou Gehrigs streak of 2,130 that had stood for 56 years. In 2007, he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, born in Maryland, Ripken grew up traveling around the United States as his father, Cal Sr. was a player and coach in the Orioles organization. After a fine career at Aberdeen High School, Ripken Jr. was drafted by the Orioles in the round of the 1978 MLB draft. He reached the leagues in 1981 as a third baseman. That year, Ripken also won the AL Rookie of the Year Award, in 1983, he won a World Series championship and his first AL MVP Award. He switched back to base for the final five years of his career. In 2001, his season, Ripken was named the All-Star Game MVP and was honored with the Commissioners Historic Achievement Award. Ripken is considered one of the best shortstops and third basemen in baseball history, at 6 ft 4 in,225 lb, he pioneered the way for the success of taller, larger shortstops. He is a member of the 3,000 hit club and is behind Derek Jeter, Ripken is a best-selling author and the President and CEO of Ripken Baseball, Inc. whose goal is to grow the love of baseball from a grassroots level. Since his retirement, he has purchased three minor league baseball teams and he has been active in charity work throughout his career and is still considered an ambassador of the game. Ripken was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland, the son of Violet Vi Ripken and he has German, English, and Irish ancestry. Though the Ripkens called Aberdeen, Maryland, their home, they were often on the move because of Cal Sr. s coaching duties with the Baltimore Orioles organization. Cal Sr. in fact, was in Topeka, Kansas with one of his teams when his son was born, Cal Jr. grew up around baseball and got started in it at a very young age. He was able to receive instruction from players on his fathers teams and he also got advice from his father, who once remarked to his mother that his questions were better than the ones reporters had. At the age of three, Ripken knew he wanted to be a ballplayer and, at the age of 10, Ripken knew the game inside, Ripken and his brother Billy attended Aberdeen High School. They both played there, Cal also played soccer
Eldrick Tont Tiger Woods is an American professional golfer who is among the most successful golfers of all time. He has been one of the athletes in the world for several years. Following an outstanding amateur and two-year college golf career, Woods turned professional at age 20 in late summer 1996. By April 1997 he had won his first major, the 1997 Masters, in a record-breaking performance, winning the tournament by 12 strokes. He first reached the one position in the world rankings in June 1997. Through the 2000s, Woods was the dominant force in golf, from December 2009 to early April 2010, Woods took leave from professional golf to focus on his marriage after he admitted infidelity, but he and his wife Elin Nordegren eventually divorced. His many alleged extramarital indiscretions were revealed by several different women and this was followed by a loss of golf form, and his ranking gradually fell to a low of No.58 in November 2011. He ended a winless streak of 107 weeks when he triumphed in the Chevron World Challenge in December 2011. After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 25,2013, he ascended to the No.1 ranking once again, Woods had back surgery in April 2014 and September 2015 and has struggled since to regain his dominant form. By March 29,2015, Woods had fallen to #104, in May 2016, Woods dropped out of the world top 500 for the first time in his professional career. Woods has broken numerous golf records and he has been World Number One for the most consecutive weeks and for the greatest total number of weeks of any golfer. He has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second-highest of any player, and 79 PGA Tour events, second all time behind Sam Snead and he has more career major wins and career PGA Tour wins than any other active golfer. He is the youngest player to achieve the career Grand Slam, additionally, Woods is only the second golfer to have achieved a career Grand Slam three times. Woods has won 18 World Golf Championships, and won at least one of those events in each of the first 11 years after they began in 1999, Woods and Rory McIlroy are the only golfers to win both The Silver Medal and The Gold Medal at The Open Championship. Woods was born in Cypress, California, to Earl and Kultida Woods, Kultida, originally from Thailand, is of mixed Thai, Chinese, and Dutch ancestry. Earl, a lieutenant colonel and Vietnam War veteran, was of mostly African American. Earls mother Maude Carter was of light skin, some suggest possible Native American and Chinese ancestry. Tiger refers to his ethnic make-up as Cablinasian, Woods first name, Eldrick, was coined by his mother because it began with E and ended with K
Ken Griffey Jr.
George Kenneth Ken Griffey Jr. nicknamed Junior and The Kid, is an American former professional baseball outfielder who played 22 years in Major League Baseball. He spent most of his career with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, a 13-time All-Star, Griffey is one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history, his 630 home runs rank as the sixth-most in MLB history. Griffey was also a defender and won 10 Gold Glove Awards in center field. He is tied for the record of most consecutive games with a home run, although popular with fans around the league, Griffey was unable to shake reports of his petulant demeanor throughout his major league baseball career. Griffey is one of only 29 players in history to date to have appeared in Major League games in four different calendar decades. Following his playing career, Griffey joined the Mariners front office as a special consultant and he was inducted into both the Mariners Hall of Fame and the Reds Hall of Fame. In 2016, Griffey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving a record 99. 32% of the vote and he is the son of former MLB player Ken Griffey Sr. Griffey was born in Donora, Pennsylvania, on November 21,1969. His family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where his father, Ken Griffey Sr. played for the Cincinnati Reds, Ken Jr. was in the clubhouse during his fathers back-to-back championships in the 1975 and 1976 World Series. As a young child, Ken Sr. would instill in his son the pride of a team accomplishment rather than the individual performance and my dad would have bopped me on the head when I was a kid if I came home bragging about what I did on the field. He only wanted to know what the team did and he attended Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, where he was the U. S high school baseball player of the year in 1987. Griffey was the number one selection by the Seattle Mariners during the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft held on June 2,1987. He received a bonus of $16,000 from the Mariners. On June 11,1987 he joined the Bellingham Mariners of the Northwest League and he made his professional debut on June 16th,1987. During the 54-game season he hit.313 and he led the team with 14 home runs,40 RBI, and 13 steals. Baseball America magazine named him the number one major league prospect. In 1988, Griffey joined the San Bernardino Spirit of the California League, during his 58 games with the Spirit, Griffey batted.338, hit 11 home runs, drove in 42 runs, and stole an astounding 32 bases. Late in the season, Griffey was promoted to the Vermont Mariners of the Class AA Eastern League and he played the final 17 games with the club, hitting.279 with 2 home runs and 10 RBI. In his eleven seasons with Seattle Griffey established himself as one of the most prolific and exciting players of the era, racking up 1,752 hits,398 home runs,1,152 RBIs, and 167 stolen bases
Mark David McGwire, nicknamed Big Mac, is an American former professional baseball player and currently a bench coach in Major League Baseball. As a first baseman, his MLB career spanned from 1986 to 2001 while playing for the Oakland Athletics and he appeared in six straight All-Star Games from 1987 to 1992 despite a brief career decline related to injuries. Another string of six consecutive All-Star appearances followed from 1995 to 2001, each season from 1996 to 1999, he again led the major leagues in home runs. McGwire also led the league in runs batted in, twice in bases on balls and on-base percentage, injuries significantly cut into his playing time in 2000 and 2001 before factoring into his retirement. He finished with 583 home runs, which was fifth all-time when he retired, for his career, McGwire averaged a home run once every 10.61 at bats, the best at bats per home run ratio in baseball history. McGwire also holds the distinction of being the fastest player to hit 500 home runs, in 2010, McGwire publicly admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during a large portion of his career. McGwire was born in Pomona, California and he attended Damien High School in La Verne, California, where he played baseball, golf, and basketball. He played college baseball at the University of Southern California under coach Rod Dedeaux, after three years at Southern California and a stint on the 1984 U. S. Olympic team, the Oakland Athletics drafted McGwire tenth overall in the 1984 Major League Baseball draft. In a short cameo, McGwire debuted in the leagues in August 1986. Retaining his rookie status in 1987, McGwire took center stage in baseball with his home runs and he hit just four in the month of April, but followed in May with 15, and another nine in June. Before the All-Star break arrived, he totaled 33 HR and earned a spot on the American League All-Star team, on August 11, he broke Al Rosens AL rookie record of 37 home runs. Three days later, McGwire broke the league record of 38. In September, McGwire hit nine home runs while posting monthly personal bests of a.351 batting average.419 on-base percentage and 11 doubles. With 49 HR and two remaining in the regular season, he chose to sit them out with an opportunity for 50 home runs to be present for the birth of his first child. McGwire also totaled 118 runs batted in.289 batting average,97 runs scored,28 doubles, a.618 slugging percentage and a.370 on-base percentage. Not only did he lead the AL in home runs in 1987, McGwire also led the major leagues in SLG, finished second in the AL in adjusted on-base plus slugging percentage total bases, third in RBI and on-base plus slugging. He was thus a unanimous choice for the AL Rookie of the Year Award and finished sixth overall in the AL Most Valuable Player Award voting. From 1988 to 1990, McGwire followed with 32,33, on July 3 and 4,1988, he hit game-winning home runs in the 16th inning of both games
Lance Edward Armstrong is an American former professional road racing cyclist. At age 16, Armstrong began competing as a triathlete and was a national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990, in 1992, Armstrong began his career as a professional cyclist with the Motorola team. In 1996, he was diagnosed with a fatal metastatic testicular cancer. After his recovery, he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation to assist other cancer survivors. Returning to cycling in 1998, he was a member of the US Postal/Discovery team between 1998 and 2005, when he won his Tour de France titles, as well as a medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics. Between 2010 and 2011, he raced with Team Radio Shack and he retired for a second time in 2011. Armstrong had been the subject of doping allegations ever since winning the 1999 Tour de France, Armstrong chose not to contest the charges, citing the potential toll on his family. As a result, he received a ban from all sports that follow the World Anti-Doping Agency code—effectively ending his athletic career. He was also stripped of all of his achievements after 1998, the Union Cycliste Internationale upheld USADAs decision and decided that his stripped wins would not be allocated to other riders. Armstrong chose not to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in a 2013 interview, Armstrong confessed that some of the allegations were true. He has declined to testify about the extent of his use of the drugs. His great-grandfather was the son of Norwegian immigrants and he was named after Lance Rentzel, a Dallas Cowboys wide receiver. His parents divorced in 1973 when Lance was two, the next year, his mother married Terry Keith Armstrong, a wholesale salesman, who adopted Lance that year. At the age of 12, Armstrong started his career as a swimmer at the City of Plano Swim Club and finished fourth in Texas state 1. He stopped swimming-only races after seeing a poster for a triathlon, called the Iron Kids Triathlon. Armstrongs total points in 1987 as an amateur were better than those of five professionals ranked higher than he was that year, at 16, Lance Armstrong became a professional triathlete and became national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990 at 18 and 19, respectively. In 1992 Armstrong turned professional with the Motorola Cycling Team, the successor of 7-Eleven team, in 1993, Armstrong won 10 one-day events and stage races, but his breakthrough victory was the World Road Race Championship held in Norway. Before his World Championships win, he took his first win at the Tour de France and he was 97th in the general classification when he retired after stage 12
LaDainian Tramayne Tomlinson is a former professional American football player who was a running back in the National Football League for eleven seasons. He played the majority of his 11-year career with the San Diego Chargers, Tomlinson was selected to five Pro Bowls, was an All-Pro six times, and won two rushing titles. At the time of his retirement, he ranked fifth in rushing yards, seventh in all-purpose yards, second in career rushing touchdowns. He currently serves as an analyst on NFL Network, Tomlinson will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August 2017, his first year of eligibility. Tomlinson played college football for Texas Christian University, earned consensus All-American honors and he spent nine seasons with the Chargers. In 2010, he signed as an agent with the New York Jets. Tomlinson is often referred to by his initials, L. T, an effective passer on halfback option plays, Tomlinson threw seven touchdown passes and ranks second behind Walter Payton for non-quarterbacks since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970. He was named to the NFLs 2000s All-Decade Team as one of the top running backs of the 2000s, Tomlinson was born to Loreane Chappelle and Oliver Tomlinson in Rosebud, Texas. His father left the family when Tomlinson was seven years old, Tomlinson did not see his father very often afterwards. His mother worked as a preacher, at the age of nine, Tomlinson joined the Pop Warner Little Scholars football program and scored a touchdown the first time he touched the ball. Tomlinson attended University High School in Waco, Texas, where he played basketball, baseball, football, Tomlinson began his football career as a linebacker, but blossomed on the offensive side of the ball. Tomlinson amassed 2,554 yards and 39 touchdowns his senior year and he was named in the state all-star football team in 1997, which included future San Diego teammates Drew Brees and Quentin Jammer. In track & field, Tomlinson competed as a sprinter and was a member of the Waco University 4 ×100 m relay squad, Tomlinson was an avid Dallas Cowboys and Miami Hurricanes fan during his youth. He idolized Walter Payton and admired Emmitt Smith, Jim Brown, Tomlinson accepted an athletic scholarship at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, then a member of the Western Athletic Conference. He played for the TCU Horned Frogs from 1997 to 2000, prior to Tomlinsons arrival, TCU had appeared in only one bowl game in the previous 12 seasons, and had recently been downgraded to a minor conference after the breakup of the Southwest Conference. During Tomlinsons freshman and sophomore years, he split time with Basil Mitchell, in the 1998 season, he helped the Horned Frogs to their first bowl win in 41 years against the USC Trojans in the Sun Bowl. Tomlinson finished his season with an NCAA-leading 1,850 yards rushing to go along with 18 touchdowns, in his senior season in 2000, Tomlinson led the NCAA for the second time with 2,158 yards and 22 touchdowns, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American. He won the Doak Walker Award as the nations best running back, and was a finalist for the 2000 Heisman Trophy and he completed his college career with 5,263 rushing yards, ranking sixth in NCAA Division I history
Michael Fred Phelps II is an American former competitive swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the records for Olympic gold medals, Olympic gold medals in individual events. In winning eight medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps broke fellow American swimmer Mark Spitzs 1972 record of seven first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won four gold and two medals, and at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he won five gold medals. This made him the most successful athlete of the Games for the fourth Olympics in a row. He has won 83 medals in international long course competition, of which 66 were gold,14 silver, and 3 bronze, spanning the Olympics, the World. His unprecedented Olympic success in 2008 earned Phelps Sports Illustrated magazines Sportsman of the Year award, after the 2008 Summer Olympics, Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles. Phelps retired following the 2012 Olympics, but in April 2014 he made a comeback, at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, his fifth Olympics, he won five golds and one silver. Phelps was chosen to be a captain of the 2016 US Olympic team, Phelps was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in the Rodgers Forge neighborhood of nearby Towson. He attended Rodgers Forge Elementary, Dumbarton Middle School, and Towson High School, Phelps is the youngest of three children. His mother, Deborah Sue Debbie Phelps, is a school principal. His father, Michael Fred Phelps, is a retired Maryland State Trooper who played football in school and college. Phelps is of English, German, Irish, Scottish, and his parents divorced in 1994, when he was nine years old, and his father remarried in 2000. He graduated from Towson High School in 2003, Phelps began swimming at the age of seven, partly because of the influence of his sisters and partly to provide him with an outlet for his energy. After retirement in 2016, he stated The only reason I ever got in the water was my mom wanted me to just learn how to swim and my sisters and myself fell in love with the sport, and we decided to swim. When Phelps was in the grade, he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. By the age of 10, he held a record for his age group. More age group records followed, and as of 2016 Phelps still holds 12 age group records
Drew Christopher Brees is an American football quarterback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. After a prolific college football career at Purdue University, he was chosen by the San Diego Chargers with the first pick in the round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He left college as one of the players in Purdue and Big Ten Conference history. As of 2016, he remains the Big Ten record-holder in virtually every passing category, including completions, yards, Brees started his professional career with the San Diego Chargers, earning the starting job in 2002 and making the Pro Bowl in 2004. Nine months after suffering a bad dislocation in his shoulder joint and he met immediate success in New Orleans, earning nine trips to the Pro Bowl and leading the Saints to their first Super Bowl in Super Bowl XLIV against the Indianapolis Colts. Since joining the Saints in 2006, he has led all NFL quarterbacks in touchdowns, passing yards, Brees has passed for over 5,000 yards in a season five times—no other NFL quarterback has done so more than once. He has led the NFL in passing touchdowns four times, and he was the NFLs Comeback Player of the Year in 2004, the Offensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2011, and the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV. Sports Illustrated named Brees its 2010 Sportsman of the Year, Brees was born to Eugene Wilson Chip Brees II, a prominent trial lawyer, and Mina Ruth, an attorney. A Sports Illustrated article stated he was named for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson and he has a younger brother, Reid. When Brees was seven, his parents divorced and shared custody of the boys, Today, Brees admits that it was a very tough and challenging life after the divorce, however, Brees and his younger brother, Reid, supported each other and became very close. They have a younger half-sister, Audrey, from their fathers remarriage to Amy Hightower, daughter of the late U. S, both of Breess parents had athletic backgrounds. His father played basketball for the Texas A&M Aggies mens basketball team and his younger brother, Reid, was an outfielder for the Baylor Bears baseball team, which made the 2005 College World Series and now resides in Colorado, where he works in sales. Brees did not play football until high school and was on the flag football team at St. Andrews Episcopal School, where his teammates included actor Benjamin McKenzie. In high school, he was a varsity letterman in baseball, basketball and football and was considering playing college baseball rather than football, College recruiters quickly ran after Brees blew out his knee in the 11th grade. As a high school player, Brees completed 314 of 490 passes for 5,461 yards with 50 touchdowns including. Westlake went 28–0–1 when Brees started for two seasons and beat a Dominic Rhodes-led Abilene Cooper 55–15 in the 1996 title game, Brees was given honorable mention in the state high school all-star football team and the USA Today All-USA high school football team. Brees only received offers from Purdue and Kentucky, ultimately choosing the former due to its highly rated academics and he graduated in 2001 with a degree in industrial management, and is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He had the option to make available for the 2000 NFL Draft
Dirk Werner Nowitzki is a German professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association. Listed at 7 ft 0 in, Nowitzki is considered to be among the greatest power forwards of all time, Nowitzki led the Mavericks to 15 NBA Playoffs, including the franchises first Finals appearance in 2006 and only championship in 2011. He is a 13-time All-Star, a 12-time All-NBA Team member, Nowitzki is the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA-history and the sixth player to achieve over 30,000 regular-season points. He is also one of seven players who achieved a 50–40–90 season and he is the first Maverick voted onto an All-NBA Team and holds several all-time Mavericks franchise records. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Nowitzki are the players to achieve four consecutive 30-point. Nowitzki led the German national basketball team to a medal in the 2002 FIBA World Championship and silver in EuroBasket 2005. He was named the Euroscar European Basketball Player of the Year by the Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport for five years running from 2002 to 2006 and again in 2011. He was also named the Mister Europa European Player of the Year by the Italian sports magazine Superbasket in 2005, on December 18,2011, Nowitzki was named the 2011 German Sports Personality of the Year, the first basketball player to receive the award. On December 10,2012, he became the first non-American player to receive the Naismith Legacy Award and his older sister Silke Nowitzki, a local champion in track and field, also became a basketball player and now works for the NBA in International TV. Nowitzki was a tall child, most of the time he stood above his peers by a foot or more. He initially played handball and tennis, but soon tired of being called a freak for his height. Furthermore, Geschwindner encouraged Nowitzki to play an instrument and read literature to make him a more complete personality. After a year, the coach was so impressed with Nowitzkis progress that he advised him, if you choose the latter, we will stop training immediately, because nobody can prevent that anymore. But if you want to play against the best, we have to train on a daily basis, after pondering this lifetime decision for two days, Nowitzki agreed to enter the full-time training schedule, choosing the path to his eventual international career. When Nowitzki joined the team, DJK played in the Second Bundesliga and his first trainer was Pit Stahl, who played the tall teenager as an outside-scoring forward rather than an inside-scoring center to utilise his shooting skills. DJK finished second in the South Division, but could not earn promotion after losing, 86–62, in the match versus BG Ludwigsburg, in that game. In the 1996–97 Second Bundesliga season, the top scorer Kuisma left the team. Filling the void, Nowitzki averaged 19.4 points per game and led DJK again to place after the regular season
LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association. James has won three NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He has also selected to 13 NBA All-Star teams,12 All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams. James played high school basketball at St. Vincent–St, mary High School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, where he was highly promoted in the national media as a future NBA superstar. After graduating, he was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first overall pick of the 2003 NBA draft, James led Cleveland to the franchises first Finals appearance in 2007, losing to the San Antonio Spurs. In 2010, he left the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in a highly publicized ESPN special titled The Decision, James played four seasons with the Heat, reaching the Finals all four years and winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, he led Miami on a 27-game winning streak, following his final season with the Heat, James opted out of his contract and returned to the Cavaliers. Off the court, James has accumulated wealth and fame from numerous endorsement contracts. His public life has been the subject of scrutiny, and he has been ranked as one of Americas most influential. He has been featured in books, documentaries, and television commercials and he also hosted the ESPY Awards, Saturday Night Live, and appeared in the 2015 film Trainwreck. James was born on December 30,1984 in Akron, Ohio to a 16-year-old mother, Gloria Marie James, who raised James on her own. Growing up, life was often a struggle for the family, as a youth, James played Amateur Athletic Union basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars. The team enjoyed success on a local and national level, led by James and his friends Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, the players were inseparable and dubbed themselves the Fab Four, promising each other that they would attend high school together. In a move that stirred controversy, they chose to attend St. Vincent–St. Mary High School, a predominately white private Catholic school, as a freshman, James averaged 21 points and 6 rebounds per game for the St. Vincent-St. The Fighting Irish finished the year 27–0, winning the Division III state title, as a sophomore, he averaged 25.2 points and 7.2 rebounds with 5.8 assists and 3.8 steals per game. For some home games during the season, St. Vincent-St, mary played at the University of Akrons 5, 492-seat Rhodes Arena to satisfy ticket demand from alumni, fans, and college and NBA scouts who wanted to see James play. The Fighting Irish finished the season 26–1 and repeated as state champions, for his outstanding play, James was named Ohios Mr. Basketball and was selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team, becoming the first sophomore to do either