Did LeBron James Play College Basketball?

min read
Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's LeBron James drives toward the basket against Brush players Sunday, January 13, 2002 at the Cleveland Convocation Center in Cleveland. James is being called everything from the Second Coming of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant to the greatest player in high school history.
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy May 24, 2023, 2:34 PM

LeBron James never played college basketball. He went straight from high school to the NBA draft in 2003. 

At the time, 18-year-olds were eligible to put their name into the NBA draft process. That rule was changed in 2005, spawning the one-and-done era. 

LeBron’s collegiate career (or lack thereof) has come into focus in recent days, thanks to his eldest son Bronny’s commitment to play for USC.

Could LeBron James Play College Basketball?

LeBron James is ineligible to play NCAA college basketball. His status as a paid professional player has nullified any collegiate eligibility he would have once had.

Technically, LeBron could attend a university and take classes any time he likes. However, he would not be eligible to play college basketball, given that he has already had a professional career. 

Hypothetically, LeBron would be eligible to play a different sport, like football. It is hard, though, to envision an unpaid near-40-year-old lining up to play a serious contact sport against top-end Division I talent.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.