While college basketball programs cannot host a prospective athlete on an official visit until said player’s junior year of high school, there’s no such limit regarding unofficial visits. And when the son of one of the best players in the history of the sport is in the area, allowing him and the rest of his grassroots teammates to take a tour of the facilities isn’t a bad idea.
LeBron James Jr. and the rest of the North Coast Blue Chips squad, which won a national championship in Charlotte over the weekend, took an unofficial visit to Duke on Monday. Duke director of basketball operations Nolan Smith led the tour, and the team also ran into current freshman Zion Williamson.
There is a connection between the elder James and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, as they combined to help lead USA Basketball to gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics (James didn’t play in Rio de Janeiro in 2016).
James Jr., who’s nearly six-feet tall, is just 13 years old but the highlights of his exploits aren’t hard to find on YouTube or any social media website. What the future may hold for him on the basketball court remains to be seen, but given the bloodlines he certainly won’t lack for scholarship offers when the time comes.
It should also be noted that the landscape in both college and professional basketball could be much different by the time James Jr. graduates from high school in 2023. Discussions regarding the NBA ending the “one and done” have ramped up in recent months, with the year 2021 (ahead of the 2022 NBA Draft) being a possible target according to various reports.