Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is no ordinary star. He was being crowned as the next big thing as early as his days with the St. Vincent-St. Mary Fighting Irish back in high school in LeBron’s hometown of Akron, Ohio. If there’s anyone who knows what young up-and-comers need, it’s the support and encouragement of their peers, and, well, LeBron is not just another peer.
Receiving praise from a player of LeBron James’ caliber is an entirely different thing and A’riel Jackson is the latest recipient of praise from one of the greatest basketball players to ever grace the world. In a video posted by the official Cincinnati Women’s Basketball Twitter account (GoBearcatsWBB), LeBron showered the upstart Jackson with love and inspiration.
“Just wanna say to keep going, don’t let nothing deter you, give the grind and when you go hard, the benefits will take care of that,” LeBron told Jackson.
— Cincinnati Women's Basketball (@GoBearcatsWBB) September 10, 2022
LeBron James was clearly in a social gathering as he recorded the video alongside A’riel Jackson’s mom, Kym Hampton, who played three seasons in the WNBA for the New York Liberty during the late 1990s. Hampton is a 6’2 center, while Jackson is a 5’9 guard out of Brooklyn, a stark contrast of playstyles apparent between mother and daughter.
“So I know you’re down in Cincinnati right now, just improve your game, continue to be a great teammate, continue to do what you got to do out on that floor, but most importantly, be a great woman off the floor. That is the most important. Continue to be loved. and have fun. If you’re not having fun then nothing else matters. So enjoy it. I salute you. Go Bearcats!” LeBron added.
Jackson was signed by the University of Cincinnati last November as part of their 2022 recruitment class, and if she heeds LeBron’s advice she can surely make noise in the upcoming NCAA season. It’s great to see LeBron James continuing to empower the next generation of players, and hopefully he continues to light a fire within other young up-and-comers such as Jackson.