All eyes are on Lebron and the Cavs tonight, but another member of the James family is getting attention on the court. Lebron James Jr. is making a name for himself already.
For those who’ve seen him, as we say in Ohio, the buckeye doesn't fall far from the tree.
Video from the Buckeye Prep Invitation in Columbus back in April highlights Lebron James Jr., then a 5th grader, showing off skills that we as Cavs fans have come to know and love about his old man. "He plays just like his daddy. He has a high basketball IQ,” said Sonny Johnson who's seen Lebron James Jr. in person. Johnson told us when you watch LBJJ, you can see he's been paying attention to his dad and that he's playing in the right way. He’s blocking shots, making moves, getting teammates involved, and getting plenty of and-ones.
Johnson runs the NEO Youth Elite program in Garfield Heights. That program highlights some of the best young players in the country. And Johnson knows when Lebron's sons play, there's a lot of buzz on an off the court. "Their games are packed,” said Johnson. “Everybody surrounds the game. People are taking pictures. Every video guy is there."
Johnson explained that typically at these events that feature even 3rd through 8th graders, talent scouts are watching. They're paying attention more and more to players showing promise at a younger and younger age.
The NEO Youth Elite national event that Johnson is putting on next weekend already has 340 young athletes signed up. Many are hoping to eventually get a college scholarship.
Johnson hopes all the kids can enjoy the game now and not have a ton of pressure, even the pressure that comes from being LBJ's kid. "After watching (dad) play and dropping 48 points, I think they probably expect the son to go out and drop 48 points...I mean that's part of being Lebron James' son,” said Johnson. “Hopefully everything turns out the right way where one day he will be doing the same thing."