LeBron James ditches Ohio State, chooses to root for Duquesne in this year’s tournament

LeBron is known for being an Ohio State fan but this year is following a dark horse

LeBron is repping the state of Ohio for this year's March Madness...

LeBron is repping the state of Ohio for this year’s March Madness tournamentLAPRESSE

LeBron James, the NBA superstar with deep ties to Ohio, found himself rooting fervently for the Duquesne Dukes during their remarkable run in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Despite hailing from Akron, Ohio, James has maintained a strong connection to the Pittsburgh-based college basketball program, particularly through his former high school coach and teammate.

Before becoming the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, LeBron James honed his skills in numerous high-stakes games at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School under the guidance of coach Keith Dambrot. Together, they secured two state titles, showcasing James’ undeniable talent long before his professional career began. Dambrot, now at the helm of the Duquesne basketball program, brought along former teammate Dru Joyce III as the Dukes’ associate head coach.

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This year, Duquesne defied expectations by clinching a No. 6 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament and embarking on an unforgettable journey. With four consecutive victories, including triumphs over formidable opponents like Saint Louis, Dayton, Saint Bonaventure, and VCU, the Dukes secured their first A-10 Tournament title since joining the league in 1982. The championship victory also marked a historic return to the NCAA Tournament for Duquesne, ending a 47-year drought since their last appearance in 1977.

LeBron James, a staunch supporter of his former coach and friend, ensured he didn’t miss a single game, even tuning in from the Lakers‘ locker room prior to his own team’s meeting. With Ohio State absent from March Madness this year, James threw his full weight behind the Dukes’ quest for success, aiming to see them secure their first NCAA Tournament victory since 1969.

For Duquesne, James’ unwavering support adds an extra layer of motivation as they prepare to make their mark on the national stage, fueled by the passion of a basketball icon and the dreams of a program on the rise.

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