LeBron James donates Nike LeBron 21s to Duquesne team ahead of NCAA tournament

James has a connection to the team’s coach.

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Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Lakers / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

Nowadays, LeBron James is spending most of his time using his X (formerly Twitter) account as a way to google “how to watch X-Men ‘97” and “when is the next episode of X-Men ‘97 on?” But between pestering Disney+ for info on the animated reboot series, he’s also taking the time to donate some sweet kicks to the Duquesne men’s basketball team ahead of the NCAA tournament.

In a sweet video posted on March 20, the team showed off their reaction to the surprise donation of shoes, freaking out and dancing as they unpackaged the sneakers.

LeBron James responded in kind, re-xeeting the post with the caption “Yessir!! Best of luck guys!!”

The team was probably excited about the free shoes not just because, you know, free shoes, but also because these are brand new. The Nike LeBron 21 “Blue Divers” were just released on March 15, 2024, following the previous release of “Algae” and “Queen Conch.”

Modeled after an oyster shell, the shoe is also a tribute to James’s daughter, Zhuri. It’s supposed to look like a shell protecting a pearl, the pearl being Zhuri. There you go!

The shoes are currently priced at $200 by Nike. Here’s the official description from the manufacturer:

“Last time around, LeBron flipped the script on his shoe game as only the King can. The encore is even better. The LeBron XXI has a cabling system that works with Air Zoom cushioning and a light, low-to-the-ground design, giving you agile fluidity without excess weight. Created for your ascent and the next generation of hoopers, it’s ideal for Bron-like open-floor attacks and rising toward the rim when the game’s pace turns up. For this special design we dove to the bottom of the sea, drawing inspiration from the oyster cultivation process. The glow-in-the-dark outsole takes it cues from the vibrant organisms dwelling about the ocean floor.”

The news comes via TMZ Sports, which explains why James donated to Duquesne. The coach of “The Dukes” is Keith Dambrot, who was James’s high school basketball coach. Granted, Dambrot has been coaching at Duquesne since 2017, so this isn’t exactly a “welcome!” gift or anything. But it is, definitely, a welcome gift.

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