LeBron James has been a freak of nature since joining the league in 2003. He gave himself the nickname, The King, even before he became an NBA player. That came with good reason as well. King James was loved all over the country at the time, and fans worldwide were excited to witness a generational player in the league back then.
For those who don’t know, LeBron has not attended college. He entered the NBA Draft straight away after finishing high school. It is still astonishing how he managed to win millions of fans despite being so young. One of the reasons would be his triumphs with the Fighting Irish. King James, growing up in Akron, was caught by Dru Joyce III, aka Coach Dru.
Many would expect that James would have been the first name on the roster, but that was not the case. He impressed Coach Dru at the Summit Lake Community Center back then. That was the moment he made it to the team but Coach Dru’s son, Dru Joyce III aka ‘Little Dru,’ was the first one.
LeBron James and his teammates nicknamed Dru Joyce III ‘General’
James said to Vanity Fair, “Coach Dru didn’t waste any time getting Little Dru involved in sports. On Saturday mornings Coach Dru played several hours of pickup basketball at the Elizabeth Park Community Center with some men from his church. Little Dru tagged along, and even though he was only four or five, he began picking up the nuances of the game just by watching.”
Little Dru was a character, as per LeBron. The NBA legend mentions that his friend never took a loss well. Despite some harsh criticism for his height (5’2) and size, Dru Joyce III wanted to make a name for himself. He achieved that with constant hard work, even if he was set back. LeBron mentioned that playing against Little Dru meant that the pair would be going at it for hours, simply because he refused to quit.
Dru Joyce III didn’t make it onto the team simply because he was Coach Dru’s son. LeBron says, “If you screwed up on the court, Little Dru was going to march up to you and let you know. Like I said, our General. And the first piece of the dream, along with his father.” The nickname speaks at length about Little Dru‘s mentality.
Coach Dru went on to identify the best talents in Sian Cotton, William McGee, and Romeo Travis. They completed the now-iconic ‘Fab 5’ team. The team led the St. Vincent–St. Mary High School to three state championships. James played a pivotal role in the team, averaging more than 20 points per game. As for Little Dru, he averaged 11.0 points and 8 assists.
LeBron remains in contact with his old teammates. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar dazzled the Shooting Stars premiere with the remaining members of the Fab 5 team recently.