When I am out of town and people ask me where I'm from, I no longer tell them that I'm from the rubber capital of the world. I tell them that I'm from Akron, Ohio --- the hometown of LeBron James.
Everyone whom I've ever said that to, including some people from Eastern Europe who I met in Las Vegas, immediately makes the conncection. LeBron is by far the most famous athlete to come out of an Akron-area high school, and he probably always will be.
He's so well known that the Beacon Journal's policy on headline writing allows copy editors to make reference to him by his first name only. For example, headlines will read, "LeBron saves Cavs," instead of, "James saves Cavs." The only other athlete whose name is treated in a similar way is Tiger Woods.
I figure that Akron's most famous prep athlete of all-time should be featured on this blog once in awhile even though he enraged me by wearing a Yankees hat to Jacobs Field. So I found a very cool, online chart of LeBron that Beacon Journal Cavs beat writer Brian Windhorst helped create for ESPN.com. The chart traces the evolution of LeBron's mind, body and leadership skills from his high school days at St. Vincent-St. Mary to his current status as one of the NBA's elite players. Click here to view the chart.
TONY DEJAK/Associated Press
LeBron James drives to the basket during the Cavaliers' 99-94 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday.