CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James threw down a challenge to his alma mater, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, as well as Stow High School ahead of their appearance in the Wingfoots Classic at The LeBron James Arena Sunday night.
In the build-up to the game, which Stow won, 64-54, James asked students to show as much pride in their schools as possible.
“St. Vincent-St. Mary, Stow, I need you guys to prove to me what school is going to be more driven,” James said in a video to both schools. “I need all of you to go out and deck your schools with the biggest Irish pride and Bulldog that the school has ever seen in history.
“On Sunday, of course, it’s game day, the craziest day of all.”
Although James went to St. Vincent-St. Mary, he received plenty of love and appreciation shown to him by the Stow faithful.
“I’m one of LeBron’s biggest fans,” one Stow supporter said. “I love him, and what he has done for their school and for our school is absolutely amazing.
“The camaraderie that we saw between all of the students at the school, unbelievable how it brought everybody together. This is just an unbelievable event, so proud to be a part of it.”
A second Stow fan added, “When I initially came to Stow, I would say that our spirit was a little bit lacking, but as the years have gone past, people at Stow, I’ve sort of realized they really love where they’re from and have a real pride in it. For us to be able to show off how awesome and how prideful we are of our school and how great a school we have with our students and our staff, it’s just a really awesome opportunity.”
According to another fan in attendance, putting together a Basketball Classic and motivating students to take pride in their schools is the latest example of James’ love for his hometown.
“I think it’s just a great thing that it’s one in another long line of things that he’s done for the community.”