LeBron James, originally from Akron, Ohio, was once just a regular kid before becoming a basketball sensation. Similarly, Dirk Nowitzki was a thin youngster in Germany, and Kobe Bryant was referred to as “bean junior” before earning the Black Mamba nickname. These now-famous NBA players, along with others, were all once hopeful dreamers. Cavs Nation recently shared exclusive childhood photos of these superstars before their careers took off. Chris Paul, a star point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he began playing basketball at age five and excelled in high school. Sadly, his grandfather, who was his biggest supporter, was murdered during Paul’s senior year, but he continues to honor him on the court.
The famous basketball player known as LeBron James was originally named LeBron Raymore and was born in Akron, Ohio. He began playing the sport at just nine years old and despite moving frequently during his youth, he never stopped playing basketball. Although he only played in high school, he quickly became a standout player and was even featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated during his senior year. In 2003, he was selected first overall in the draft and has since achieved unparalleled success in his career. As a forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James has solidified his place as one of the greatest players in basketball history. Keep scrolling to see a childhood photo of another NBA superstar.
Meet Dwyane Wade, a renowned basketball player who was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. His childhood was far from perfect due to the struggles he faced with his mother. Despite these challenges, basketball became his escape from the tough times. Through immense hard work and dedication, he has now become a major contributor to the Miami Heat’s success, helping them win three NBA championships. Keep scrolling to see a throwback photo of another NBA superstar during their childhood.
Dirk Nowitzki, the renowned seven-foot forward of the Dallas Mavericks, hails from Würzburg, Germany. As a child, his towering height and basketball prowess caught the eye of a German International player who mentored him to become one of the greatest European players of all time. Keep reading to check out the 11th NBA superstar’s childhood photo.
Blake Griffin hails from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and initially played baseball and football as a child. However, his passion for basketball developed when he was in ninth grade. He teamed up with his brother Taylor to play basketball in Oklahoma and eventually became the first overall pick in the 2009 Draft. Today, he is recognized as the all-star power forward for the Los Angeles Clippers. Keep scrolling to check out the next NBA superstar’s baby/childhood photo.
Klay Alexander Thompson, a native of Los Angeles, California, developed an early passion for basketball and even played alongside Kevin Love, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ power forward, in a little league team. After attending Washington State University for three years, Thompson decided to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA by declaring for the draft.
Brandon Byron Jennings hails from Compton, California and gained recognition in his senior year for his impressive stats of 35 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds per game. It’s ironic that he is seen wearing a Pistons jersey in the picture, considering he went on to play for them only a few years later.
Kobe Bryant, also known as Kobe Bean Bryant, was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His love for basketball started at a very young age of three and he even played the game abroad for some time. Bryant’s talent on the court was evident during his high school days and he was eventually drafted by the Charlotte Hornets. However, he was later traded to the Lakers. One can only wonder how things would have turned out if he had stayed with the Hornets.
Paul Clifton Anthony George hails from Palmdale, California and is a professional basketball player. He began playing organized basketball during his high school days at Knight High School and later attended Fresno State for two years before deciding to pursue his NBA dreams.
Stephen Curry, also known as Wardell Stephen Curry II, is a basketball star who was born in Akron Ohio and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. His father, Dell, played for the Charlotte Hornets, which gave him and his brother Seth the opportunity to shoot hoops with the team during warm ups. They both grew up surrounded by basketball and have now followed in their father’s footsteps by becoming NBA players (Stephen plays for the Warriors and Seth plays for the Kings).
Kevin Durant, an American professional basketball player, hails from Washington, D.C. He was a fan of Vince Carter and the Toronto Raptors during his childhood. Interestingly, Durant might consider returning to his hometown as a free agent in 2016.
Russell Westbrook hails from Long Beach, California and has always been passionate about basketball. However, it wasn’t until his senior year that he caught the eye of college scouts. During this time, Westbrook displayed impressive stats averaging 25 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and three steals per game. After committing to UCLA, he was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics (now known as the Oklahoma City Thunder).
Dwight David Howard, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, developed a keen interest in basketball at the age of nine. Despite being extremely tall and lanky during his high school days, he played the point guard position. In 2004, Howard decided to forego college and enter the NBA draft, where he was selected as the first overall pick.
Carmelo Anthony is a native of Brooklyn, New York but moved to Baltimore with his family when he was eight years old. He made a decision to attend Syracuse University after announcing it at the end of his junior year in high school. Throughout his entire career, Anthony has been closely associated with New York as he had spent his childhood there, played basketball in college there, and now plays professionally for the Knicks.
Let’s talk about Kyrie Irving, the basketball superstar! He spent his childhood in West Orange, New Jersey, after his family moved there from Australia when he was only two years old. Irving’s dad was also a basketball player, so it was in his blood from the very start. Despite playing just 11 games at Duke University, Irving was selected as the number one overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Pretty impressive!