Before he became the living legend that he is on NBA courts, LeBron James was one of if not the biggest high school basketball star in the country. During his time at St Vincent-St Mary’s, he was so popular his games were sold out and even shown on Pay-Per-View. The outspoken superstar opened up about the experience and being exploited during his amateur playing days.
While on fellow NBA star Kevin Durant’s ESPN+ show The Boardroom, speaking on the subject of young athletes being exploited, James used his experience while playing on the Amature Athletic Union (AAU) circuit as an example of how young athletes are being taken advantage of.
“Freshman year to my sophomore year they moved our home games to the [University of Akron]… My first game of my sophomore year was at the University of Akron and there like 6,000 people… and they sell season tickets. Right then and there as a sophomore at 15-years-old I knew that this was a business.”
Durant also had much to say on the issue revealing he noticed the game when he spotted his jersey without his name on it and not receiving a single dollar from it.
“I seen a 35 jersey on the rack and I’m just wondering like, why my name’s not on the back of it. Everybody knows this is my jersey and it was just kind of confusing at that point because it was this in-between period where it was like is this always about ball or they might be making money on the other side of this too. So I didn’t know who to turn to, I had no guidance, and I was going to the NBA the next year. So it was like, I just want to play ball.”
With the push for College athletes to be compensated in some form, these two can definitely lead the charge. Their league the NBA is giving potential young talent with an opportunity to financially benefit from their skills as soon as possible by lowering the draft age from 19 to 18 and the G-League. One thing is definitely sure these kids deserved to be paid.