LeBron’s very first high school coach: he was always something special

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Photo courtesy: WJW image

AKRON, Ohio – LeBron James’ first high school coach says as he watched the NBA finals he saw something very familiar in the man who helped lead him to two Ohio high school basketball titles.

“A lot of emotion for me personally because I have such belief in him and just our community as a whole and I just wanted something special for our community,” said Keith Dambrot.

“I tell people this all the time I have coached a lot of college players, not as many high school players, but that team I had in high school is one of the smartest teams as far as IQ, understanding how to win and LeBron, again, was one of the main ingredients,” he added.

Photo courtesy: WJW image

Photo courtesy: WJW image

Dambrot says no matter where he has played LeBron James has always made the players around him better.

“There’s a lot of great players in that league but there’s very few guys that can make players better and also people better,” said Dambrot.  “You look at the ‘Bird Man’ (Chris Anderson, who LeBron played with in Miami) this guy had a lot of issues and he made him not only a great player but a good person. JR Smith, on and on and on, guys who haven’t won anything in the playoffs and all of a sudden they are playing in two successive championships so this guy has a knack of just resurrecting things and that’s a special trait.”

And Dambrot says when LeBron returned to the Cavaliers with a mission to deliver a championship he knew that determination.

Photo courtesy: WJW image

Photo courtesy: WJW image

“I knew that he would be in the mix to try to do this. And even game seven, you know Steve Kerr and those guys were saying we are still in good position, which they were, but in game seven the last guy you want to play against is LeBron James.

“Once and for all I think people are going to finally have to admit this guy is going to qualify as one of the greatest players of all time.”