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The Inside Track

James Keeps His Amateur Standing

January 28, 2003|From Associated Press

CLEVELAND — LeBron James dunks like an NBA player, and drives like one, too.

But he's still not a professional.

The nation's top high school basketball player was cleared Monday after a two-week investigation determined he did not violate state amateur bylaws by accepting a sports utility vehicle as a gift.

Ohio High School Athletic Assn. Commissioner Clair Muscaro decided James did not compromise his amateur status and that his mother, Gloria, had provided proof she bought him the Hummer H2 vehicle.

"I was satisfied with the documentation that we were given," Muscaro said.

Muscaro had been gathering information and financial proof to determine how James, a senior at St. Vincent-St. Mary High in Akron, had obtained the automobile, which has a base retail price of $50,000.

Gloria James said she took out a bank loan in Columbus to buy the SUV -- shipped from California and outfitted with three televisions and computer game hookups -- for her son's 18th birthday and provided evidence to the OHSAA.

Muscaro's concern was that James had accepted the SUV from an agent or outside source and had violated an OHSAA bylaw.

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