People.com Entertainment Sports Throwback Photos of LeBron James That Prove He Has Always Been the G.O.A.T. The basketball star turns 37 on Dec. 30 By Andrea Wurzburger Updated on December 30, 2021 10:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email 01 of 08 Standout Freshman Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty James always had talent. Here he is in 1999 with his teammates Sian, Willie McGee and Little Dru, a.k.a. the Fab Four, when he was a freshman on the varsity basketball team at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. 02 of 08 Legend in the Making Steve Grayson/WireImage James not only led his team through a series of firsts, but he also was a trailblazer within high school basketball, period. He helped his team win three division titles, made it to the cover of Sports Illustrated his junior year, was named Ohio Mr. Basketball three times and was selected to join the USA Today All-USA First Team three times. 03 of 08 Early Success Steve Grayson/WireImage Even before the star was drafted into the NBA, Nike signed him on for an endorsement deal worth $90 million. 04 of 08 Senior Smiles Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty By 2003, James was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first overall pick of the NBA draft. 05 of 08 Superstar Status Scott Gries/Getty James went from high school sensation to real-life celebrity seemingly overnight. Here, he's seen making a guest appearance on MTV's TRL in 2003 with then-VJ La La Anthony. 06 of 08 Courtside Memories Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Cavaliers teammate Darius Miles is seen sitting with LeBron during their game against the Orlando Magic as part of the Pepsi Pro Summer League, which was held at TD Waterhouse Centre on July 8, 2003, in Orlando, Florida. 07 of 08 Red Carpet Ready M. Caulfield/WireImage Here's James looking sharp at the 2003 ESPY Awards, which went down at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. 08 of 08 Head in the Game David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty LeBron is laser-focused and ready during his 2003 preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 13, 2003, at Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.