LeBron James Presents Duquesne with Gift Ahead of NCAA Matchup Versus BYU

NBA superstar LeBron James is all in on cheering for the Duquesne Dukes in the NCAA Tournament.

On Wednesday, the day before Duquesne faces BYU in the First Round of the Big Dance, “King James” sent a gift to the Dukes.

James sent the Duquesne basketball squad pairs of Nike LeBron XXI shoes to the entire team.

You’re probably wondering why LeBron, an Akron, Ohio native, is interested in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Dukes. Duquesne’s head coach, Keith Dambrot, coached James for two seasons when LeBron was a prep superstar at Saint Vincent-Saint Mary’s in Akron.

Dambrot could be coaching his final game on Thursday. This week, the veteran head coach announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season.

During Dambrot’s press conference on Wednesday in Omaha, he referenced something he learned coaching LeBron.

 

“The one thing that I know as a coach is when people have ability, you have to let them loose,” said Dambrot. “You don’t want them to play tentatively. You have to live with the good and the bad sometimes.

“That’s one thing LeBron taught me when I coached him, was you got to let guys like that loose, and that’s what I have done with Jimmy [Clark].”

We’ll see if the new kicks impact how Duquesne plays against BYU.

The Cougars are a large favorite in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. But head coach Mark Pope is quick to remind everyone that the games still need to be played.

“Well, we were also picked 13th in the Big 12,” Pope said Wednesday. “So sometimes the people that are the smartest just aren’t that smart, right? That’s why these games are really brilliant because you get a chance to step out on the court, and you just drop your heart and soul and everything you have on the court, and that’s where magical things happen.”

(6) BYU vs. (11) Duquesne

2024 NCAA Tournament – First Round

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Arena: CHI Health Center

Tip-Off: 10:40 a.m. (MT)/11:40 a.m. (CT)

TV: truTV

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM in Utah)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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