One of the hypotheticals that are commonly thrown around star forward LeBron James has been what his life would have been like had he committed to playing football. James was also a gifted athlete that was a talented wide receiver at the high school level that could have made that transition over to college and possibly much further than that. He chose to stick with the game of basketball as his career choice. However, James has shed some light on why he didn’t play football in his senior year at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
LeBron James football career
It’s widely known that James was more than a single sport athlete as he found significant success playing football at the high school level.
While he was excelling on the basketball court, he had a substantial impact on the football field as a wide receiver tallying 103 receptions for 2,065 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns in two seasons. That saw him earn First-Team All-State in Ohio as a sophomore and was offered a scholarship to play at Norte Dame. His junior year, he posted 57 catches for 1,160 yards and 16 touchdowns while helping his school to a 10-4 record and reaching the state semifinal and receiving All-State honors yet again.
James had all the physical traits that helped him excel on the field at 6-foot-8 and 232-pounds along with a 44-inch vertical. All that made him a problem at the high school level, which could have put a bright future ahead of him on the football field.
Although the telling signs were there, James decided to stick to just playing basketball his senior, which he finally revealed why he went that route.
Why LeBron James didn’t play football
In the years that have passed, James has often reflected on his days playing football back in high school.
He had put together an impressive brief career that was cut short before it had a chance to take off in his senior year. With that in mind, James took to Instagram on Saturday, where he voiced that he was peer pressured by his high school friends to stick to basketball.
“[My teammates] said if I tried to step on a football field my senior year they would jump(kick my a**) me every day of practice until I had enough! Think I made a smart decision! Ha! Anyways you LB/CB/S can thank my homies I stayed over in the hoops lane or would have been plenty of highlights ‘Moss’d’ on y’all.”
James could have played football his senior year, but it was becoming quite clear that he had a bright future ahead of him on the basketball court. There could be much credence to his friends having a strong influence on him, but what may have also led to this decision was that he suffered a broken wrist injury during an AAU basketball following his junior year.
Did LeBron James make the right choice?
That question continues to linger in some regard over the years as James had all the physical traits. If he had stayed on that path, there is a serious belief that he could have taken that to the next level to reach the NFL.
His size and physical ability could have seen him play either wide receiver or tight end that could have seen him put together a potentially highly productive career. However, James made the right choice as he has put together an illustrious NBA career that has seen him establish himself as one of the greatest players in league history.
Ultimately, an alternate career path in football will always be a “what if” scenario around James.