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Dambrot Mentioned in SI Article on LeBron

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UAZip0510    152
I guess you can find something to support whatever argument you want to make. I entered the following search terms into Google -- lebron james university of akron zips -- and the first hit at the top of the list is a Washington Post story with the following headline and lead:

University of Akron Basketball Program Has Big Supporter in LeBron James

PORTLAND, Ore., March 18 -- Chris McKnight joined in a pickup basketball game the first time he stepped on the University of Akron campus as a student and incoming scholarship basketball player.

One by one, his teammates decided whom they would guard, when one of them said, "Chris, you got LeBron."

Guarding LeBron James is both a benefit and challenge of being a men's basketball player for the Zips. Mostly due to a relationship with Akron Coach Keith Dambrot, who tutored a 13-year-old James and later coached him for two years at Akron's St. Vincent/St. Mary High School, James is one of the Zips' most avid and important supporters.

I wonder if Chris McKnight would have ever made the lead in a Washington Post story if not for LeBron's relationship with KD and UA?

Washington Post Story

That's cool for Chris, but it falls into the same category as LeBron's occasional "Akron U" tweets - can't hurt, but how has it helped us as a program?

I'm still waiting for ANY evidence that LeBron had even a little bit of an impact in a recruit coming to UA instead of another school.

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zippy5    636

I think anyone that thinks having LEBRON JAMES around our program, playing pickup games, giving the team gear, tweeting about them...has had ZERO impact on any player possibly coming to Akron in the past 8 years is extremely delusional. That is all.

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LZIp    743
I think anyone that thinks having LEBRON JAMES around our program, playing pickup games, giving the team gear, tweeting about them...has had ZERO impact on any player possibly coming to Akron in the past 8 years is extremely delusional. That is all.

this is getting repetitive, but I'll ask again. link? Surely if it has such a great impact, it would have been mentioned somewhere. I mean, if the Washington Post has enough time on their hands to write an article about somebody guarding Lebron James in practice, surely they would have time to post about the huge impact he has on our program lol.

Besides, any player who comes here because we have Lebron gear or because Lebron tweets about us once a blue moon, isnt a player I want playing for my program.

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zippy5    636

Show me a link where every player who's played here in the last 8 years never thought about it. I think that's just as unreasonable. Obviously LeBron isn't the number 1 reason (nor would I hope he would be) for any player to come here. But to say no 17-18 year old kid ever thought about it? One bit? C'mon man!

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Dave in Green    334

No one has yet been able to produce hard evidence that proves or disproves the value of LeBron's support to the Zips basketball program. In the absence of such data, no one gets to claim victory in this debate. It's a tie.

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UAZip0510    152
I'm also enjoying UAZips "well besides that" defense.

I'm thoroughly enjoying your "zero evidence presented" argument, so I guess we're even.

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UAZip0510    152

Here's an interesting article:

The subject was where to take one's talents. Chris Walker asked and LeBron James answered.

Walker is a 6-10 junior forward at Holmes County High School in Bonifay, Fla. He’s one of the top recruits in the 2013 class -- currently ranked No. 5 in the ESPNU60 -- who has the interest of many of the programs in the nation. He’s also a big James fan and thinks so much of him that Walker sent James a message on Twitter asking where he should go to college.

Apparently, it was a serious question.

“I’m a top 5 player in the country in class of 2013. Where should I go to college Mr. James?” Walker asked James on Twitter.

“If LeBron hits me back and tells me where he thinks I should go, I'd do it,” Walker told ESPN’s Jason Jordan in an interview this week. “In my opinion, he's the best player in the league and I really look up to him. Plus, he’s the king. Gotta listen to the king, right?”

When James heard about the request he offered some advice, and a few school suggestions.

"The advice I would give Chris Walker is to follow his heart and go where he believes he can help the program and they can give him a great education,” James told ESPN.com.

“Of course Ohio State and Kentucky are my two favorite programs for many reasons. They have great basketball programs, great coaches, players and are two of the best colleges in America. But with that said, Chris, you will know where you want to go when the time comes. I'm looking forward to seeing you make the decision and take your talents to that program and shine.”

This time, it seems, James is being politically correct on the "taking of the talents" issue. James has been a supporter of Ohio State's basketball team, which started wearing his Nike brand of uniforms and shoes four years ago. Earlier this week James cheered the Buckeyes on in their victory over Duke. Several years ago, Buckeyes coach Thad Matta made James an honorary alum of the program.

It’s possible that the Buckeyes might have the inside track. Over the summer, Walker said in several interviews that he was favoring Ohio State. Now James is nudging him, at least partially, in that direction as well.

Over the last two years, though, James has also developed a new relationship with Kentucky. Coach John Calipari has been close with James for years. One of James’ lifelong friends, Brandon Weems, is on Calipari’s staff. He’s attended several Kentucky games, practices and camps since Calipari arrived in Lexington.

Both Kentucky and Ohio State have been recruiting Walker, who has the size of a power forward but the athleticism of a small forward and is regarded as having huge potential once he adds some weight in the next few years. He’s also had offers from the likes of Florida, Kansas, Louisville, Connecticut, Memphis and Syracuse, to name a few.

“The whole recruiting process can be a little overwhelming at times,” Walker said. “So many great schools want me to come and play for them. It’s hard to decide.”

James is in a unique position when it comes to recruiting high school athletes. For the last five years, he has hosted the majority of the nation’s top high school players for Nike-sponsored camps in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. He’s gotten to know and offer advice to top players like Tyreke Evans, John Wall and Jared Sullinger before they made their college picks.

There’s a good chance Walker will be in Akron at James’ camp next summer. Until then the two might just keep in touch via Twitter. With nearly 2.9 million followers, James recently moved into Twitter’s 100 most followed people. He’s the sixth most-followed athlete in the world and is third among American sports stars.

Serious questions for those who believe LeBron has a serious impct on our team:

1) How do you feel about him openly helping Ohio State and Kentucky get recruits?

2) Our only "major" recruit has been Zeke Marshall, who said he didn't know James was connected to Akron until he visited here. His mother also said LeBron had zero impact on him signing. With the power that James seems to have, if he was trying to help Akron, wouldn't at least one "top" recruit have come by now?

LeBron James loves Akron. He likes The University of Akron. He'll throw us a Twitter shout-out every once awhile, and I'm sure he likes to see us win. However, he doesn't come to games anymore (and hasn't since Romeo/Dru graduated). He doesn't try to help us recruit like he does for Ohio State and Kentucky. He doesn't give our team the special "LeBron line" jerseys, warmups, etc that Ohio State, Kentucky, and Miami get. There is zero existing evidence that he has helped us (even a little bit) land a recruit in any way, shape, or form.

He likes us, but we're not special to him. His ties to Dambrot and the city of Akron don't hurt us, but they really haven't done much for our program either.

I respect those that belief that he does more than this...I just don't agree with it until I see some actual evidence to support it.

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UAZip0510    152
You'll just have to remain wrong, then.

Me? I've yet to see any evidence provided against my argument. It took me 2 seconds to find evidence via Google that he has helped both Ohio State and Kentucky in recruiting. I'd love to see some evidence that he's helped us as well. Just name me one player in the nine years since he graduated from St. V that James has influenced in any way, shape, or form to come here.

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LZIp    743
Me? I've yet to see any evidence provided against my argument. It took me 2 seconds to find evidence via Google that he has helped both Ohio State and Kentucky in recruiting. I'd love to see some evidence that he's helped us as well. Just name me one player in the nine years since he graduated from St. V that James has influenced in any way, shape, or form to come here.

They can't. We are just "wrong". No evidence to back up their claims.

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Zips Win!    19
No one has yet been able to produce hard evidence that proves or disproves the value of LeBron's support to the Zips basketball program. In the absence of such data, no one gets to claim victory in this debate. It's a tie.

+1

Best post ever by DIG. Short and sweet.

Yet another example of DIG never taking a stance, yet always riding the fence......

You know, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose..yada, yada, yada....

LBJ is KD's buddy. Great for them...

When LBJ's impact lands us a big-time player or a couple mil, please let me know...

Until then, it's much about nothing...

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akzipper    51
+1

Best post ever by DIG. Short and sweet.

Yet another example of DIG never taking a stance, yet always riding the fence......

You know, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose..yada, yada, yada....

LBJ is KD's buddy. Great for them...

When LBJ's impact lands us a big-time player or a couple mil, please let me know...

Until then, it's much about nothing...

I think most Zips fans are waiting for the day that we get national attention, as opposed to just being a side story in Lebrons career and KD being known as a legend that revived our program. Not just some guy who coached Lebron back in HS.

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Dave in Green    334
.... Yet another example of DIG never taking a stance, yet always riding the fence......

You know, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose..yada, yada, yada....

Guess it went right over your head. I thought it would be pretty clear to everyone that my stance is that LeBron's association with Zips basketball is a valuable asset because it can help make the program more attractive to quality young players. Just because there's been no proof presented here yet that it hasn't already happened doesn't mean it hasn't or won't. I value assets, and I like them even better when I know for sure that the assets have been leveraged to produce results.

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GP1    105
I value assets, and I like them even better when I know for sure that the assets have been leveraged to produce results.

So do I. Results have to measureable in a way that has to be statistically relevant. I see James connection to the basketball program as nothing but an interesting sideshow that has no negative impact on the program. Fans like a good sideshow, but they do little to further the cause.

I believe we get good players here because they want to be involved with a winning program primarily. Playing a pick-up game or two with James over a four year period can't possibly by their primary motivation and I don't even want that kind of player on the team. We need winners, not stargazers.

I don't know why I always have to be the one to bring these things up, but here it goes. Nobody will say these national references of James/Dambrot do more for Dambrot than the basketball program. This article will do almost nothing to bring in a top level recruit or even have enough impact on the memory of someone to cause them to buy one ticket next season. Who is sitting around and saying, "I want to go watch the guy coach who told LBJ he has to do a better job of rebounding"? I don't think this person exists. After eight years and this same article getting republished in some for or another 1,000 times, he would have bought the tickets already. It doesn't hurt the program, but it doesn't help either.

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Dave in Green    334

@GP1, I haven't seen anyone here claim that LeBron's association with Zips basketball would be the "primary" reason why recruits would choose UA over another school or fans would buy tickets to Zips games, so it appears we're all pretty much in agreement on that. The difference in opinion appears to be that some believe more than others that it could be one of many influences on the decisions of some recruits and some fans.

Also, any benefits that KD derives from publicity about his relationship with LeBron can be good for the program. As long as KD remains the Zips head coach, anything that benefits him can be leveraged to help benefit the Zips basketball program.

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UAZip0510    152
So do I. Results have to measureable in a way that has to be statistically relevant. I see James connection to the basketball program as nothing but an interesting sideshow that has no negative impact on the program. Fans like a good sideshow, but they do little to further the cause.

I believe we get good players here because they want to be involved with a winning program primarily. Playing a pick-up game or two with James over a four year period can't possibly by their primary motivation and I don't even want that kind of player on the team. We need winners, not stargazers.

I don't know why I always have to be the one to bring these things up, but here it goes. Nobody will say these national references of James/Dambrot do more for Dambrot than the basketball program. This article will do almost nothing to bring in a top level recruit or even have enough impact on the memory of someone to cause them to buy one ticket next season. Who is sitting around and saying, "I want to go watch the guy coach who told LBJ he has to do a better job of rebounding"? I don't think this person exists. After eight years and this same article getting republished in some for or another 1,000 times, he would have bought the tickets already. It doesn't hurt the program, but it doesn't help either.

I agree that, despite no evidence of him helping our program, his loose ties can't hurt anything. I guess I just get tired of our fans/alumni/program catering to him when it serves him when he could be making a significant impact to our program (recruiting, arena, etc) and instead chooses to help Ohio State and/or Kentucky.

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skip-zip    686
I agree that, despite no evidence of him helping our program, his loose ties can't hurt anything. I guess I just get tired of our fans/alumni/program catering to him when it serves him when he could be making a significant impact to our program (recruiting, arena, etc) and instead chooses to help Ohio State and/or Kentucky.

Were you at Trivia Night last night? Someone won a prize to have dinner with Keith. And French made some type of remark along the lines of "...maybe he'll bring LeBron along with him for an extra bonus".

Akron basketball has a connection with a big-time celebrity. Why would any Zips fan possibly ever get tired of that? I don't even care that he has other teams that he likes. He talks about Akron among his millions of nationwide fans. Once again, the U of A can't buy that kind of publicity.

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Hilltopper    265
Were you at Trivia Night last night? Someone won a prize to have dinner with Keith. And French made some type of remark along the lines of "...maybe he'll bring LeBron along with him for an extra bonus".

Akron basketball has a connection with a big-time celebrity. Why would any Zips fan possibly ever get tired of that? I don't even care that he has other teams that he likes. He talks about Akron among his millions of nationwide fans. Once again, the U of A can't buy that kind of publicity.

+1

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LZIp    743
Were you at Trivia Night last night? Someone won a prize to have dinner with Keith. And French made some type of remark along the lines of "...maybe he'll bring LeBron along with him for an extra bonus".

Akron basketball has a connection with a big-time celebrity. Why would any Zips fan possibly ever get tired of that? I don't even care that he has other teams that he likes. He talks about Akron among his millions of nationwide fans. Once again, the U of A can't buy that kind of publicity.

yeah, im sure KD is going to bring Lebron along with him :rolleyes: . If all you have is hypothetical situations (which is all Lebron supporters seem to have), that tells me all I need to know.

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UAZip0510    152
Were you at Trivia Night last night? Someone won a prize to have dinner with Keith. And French made some type of remark along the lines of "...maybe he'll bring LeBron along with him for an extra bonus".

Akron basketball has a connection with a big-time celebrity. Why would any Zips fan possibly ever get tired of that? I don't even care that he has other teams that he likes. He talks about Akron among his millions of nationwide fans. Once again, the U of A can't buy that kind of publicity.

If LeBron actually did "show up" for the program in some capacity, he'd certainly make a difference. He could help us in recruiting, getting a new arena, outfitting us in his exclusive "LeBron line" uniforms/gear...but he doesn't do any of those things, he instead chooses to help Ohio State and Kentucky. That's OK - he didn't go to UA, so he had no obligation to do any of that.

Again, the occasional tweets are nice, but it hasn't produced any measurable positive impact to our program.

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skip-zip    686
yeah, im sure KD is going to bring Lebron along with him :rolleyes: . If all you have is hypothetical situations (which is all Lebron supporters seem to have), that tells me all I need to know.

Read my post again. It had nothing to do with whether LeBron shows up with Keith for the dinner or not. You missed the point.

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Dr Z    844

I wonder how different this thread would read if LBJ still played for the Cavs. I'm guessing "extremely" (minus one member).

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Zips Win!    19
bonus".

Akron basketball has a connection with a big-time celebrity.

False. The Akron coach has a connection with a big-time celebrity.

Now, when the recruits and dough roll into the University, then Akron basketball will have a connection

with a big-time celebrity.

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Dave in Green    334

While I'd like to know more specific details about how Zips basketball has benefited from the LeBron connection, KD makes it pretty clear in this article that it does help recruiting:

“We get to recruit a lot of good players because of LeBron, because of the connection with LeBron.”

"I think it’s a good connection, I think it will stay a good connection and it’s a connection we have to have to take the program to the next level. Without him, it’s a little harder.”

"The kids we recruit, they just know he’s good so as long as we are connected to him, then we’re good.”

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