DeMar DeRozan had to prove the organizationís old vision of him as a cornerstone, as an efficient guard and reliable leader. He needed to mature as a two-way, inside and out player. For DeRozan, the departure of Gay had been the precise sign. His stats couldnít be empty anymore. Read More. Written by Shams Charania on Apr 15, 2014
LeBron James led the Ohio State football team into the pep rally on Saturday and Urban Meyer introduced the Miami Heat's star to mostly cheers.
Speaking to students at the rally, James said he would have played at Ohio State University if he decided to play one season of college basketball instead of entering the NBA straight out of high school in 2003.
"I promise, I say this all the time -- if I had one year of college, I would have ended up here," James said. "No matter where I go in the world, no matter where it is, I will always rock Ohio State colors."
Earlier this month, Ohio State unveiled a special locker dedicated to James inside the Schottenstein Center, where the basketball team plays its home games.
LeBron James was given a locker at Ohio State’s new practice facility.
James agreed to outfit the team with his Nike line of apparel in 2007.
“We always want to pay our respects to him for what he did for us in '07 in terms of we were the first LeBron school,” Thad Matta said. “And obviously we get tremendous product from him, and I know he's very proud of what he does for us.”
Matta admitted to the recruiting benefits of being associated with James.
“There's no question about it,” Matta said. “I've always said if I could have coached him I would have been a lot better coach early on. He's very proud of what we've done and just in terms of his name and being from Ohio and the fact we wear his gear, that's important for us.”
Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones are widely expected to choose the same school.
Both players have included Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and Ohio State on their lists.
Okafor and Jones will make official visits together to Baylor on Aug. 30, Kansas on Oct. 18 and Duke on Oct. 25. Okafor will visit Kentucky on Sept. 9 and Arizona on Oct. 11 without Jones. Okafor will also make unofficial visits to Illinois, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Okafor would like to make a decision in November, but his father said that is not set in stone.
Duke is rumored to be the frontrunner, which Okafor's father says his unfortunate.
"It's disappointing. It's taking the fun out of the process for the two boys," Okafor's father, Chukwudi Okafor, said by phone. "That's a shame. Let the kids go through the process. I just want them to enjoy it, not the media, not Twitter, not the coaches, not the AAU coaches. Those kids are highly intelligent. They know what to do. Let it play out, and I think the world is in for something special."