“TOUGH NEPHEW!!!! REAL TOUGH” – LeBron James praises Mikey Williams as he drops tough crossover bucket

LA Lakers superstar forward LeBron James has led Los Angeles to a 21-20 record.
LA Lakers superstar forward LeBron James has led Los Angeles to a 21-20 record.

LA Lakers superstar forward LeBron James keeps an eye on young basketball talent. Although James has seen talented players in the NBA during his 19-year career, he is also preparing himself for the future.

When James isn't on an NBA court, he's often seen taking in sporting events that involve his sons as they pursue their high school basketball careers. Bronny and Bryce James both attend Sierra Canyon High School.

Another player in the high school ranks who has drawn a lot of attention is Mikey Williams. The talented guard is one of the top recruits in the 2023 class and has drawn the respect of James. In a recent Instagram post, James praised Williams for a recent highlight.

"Tough nephew!!! Real tough"
LeBron James with praise for Mikey Williams
LeBron James with praise for Mikey Williams

Mikey Williams has been marketable prospect

James has kept a close eye on the incoming slate of talent expected to enter the NBA soon. One of those prospects is one of the most marketable young talents in high school, phenom Mikey Williams.

The 17-year-old guard has turned himself into one of the country's top recruits. He's ranked as the 11th overall player in the 2023 class in the ESPN100 rankings. Earlier this year, Williams announced he would sign a footwear and apparel deal with Puma.

High School Basketball phenom Mikey Williams
High School Basketball phenom Mikey Williams

Williams has become one of the more popular athletes on social media platforms, drawing millions of followers. With his deal with Puma, the five-star recruit became the first American high school basketball player to sign a sneaker deal with a global footwear company.

It's clear James continues to want to give back to the sport of basketball when it comes to working with any young player who looks to be the future of the NBA.

Williams, from San Diego, Calif., plays for Vertical Academy in Charlotte, N.C. It is his third high school. Kansas, Louisiana State University and Arizona State are among the schools that have already offered Williams.

James is in his 19th season in the NBA. He averages 28.9 points per game for the Lakers (21-20). He made the leap directly from high school to the NBA when he was the No. 1 draft pick in 2003. That option won't be available for Williams or Bronny James. Current NBA rules stipulate that players must wait at least a year past their high school graduation in order to be drafted.

Darryl Dawkins, James, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard are among the notable names who never played in college.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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