LeBron James Gifts New Shoes To Duquesne Ahead Of NCAA Tournament

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has always had a special place in his heart for Keith Dambrot, now the basketball coach at Duquesne.LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

That’s because Dambrot was James’ first coach at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Dambrot coached James during his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Fighting Irish, before later becoming the coach at the University of Akron.

He’s now in his seventh year at Duquesne and announced this season will be his last.

And what a special season it’s been — with the Dukes advancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1977.

James has been all about Dambrot and Duquesne this season, acknowledging Dambrot’s retirement, for starters. But James took it a step further by sending the entire team a pair of his signature shoes in the school’s white and blue colors.

“Appreciate it King,” read the caption of a video of the players receiving James’ special gift.

James responded by writing, “Yessir!! Best of luck guys!!”

The Dukes were slated to tip off the tournament on Thursday vs. BYU, with the No. 11 seed in their region. They have not been out of the first round since 1969.

Interestingly, Dambrot’s father played for the Dukes and led them to the tournament in 1952. He mentioned as much upon announcing his retirement.

“My dad played here, and that’s probably why I took the job,” Dambrot told reporters. “I left my hometown of Akron to come here. I’m happy. I’m sure he’s in his grave spinning around right now.”

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