Skip to main content

The King Slayers: Meet the only team that blemished LeBron James’ high school record

LeBron James lost only once when he was in high school. Roger Bacon inflicted that lone defeat. Meet the players who kept on believing even if no one game them the chance.
The King Slayers: Meet the only team that blemished LeBron James’ high school record

As James ascends to superstardom and cements his legacy as one of the best to ever do it, the players of Roger Bacon claim it makes the victory sweeter.

High school LeBron James was unstoppable. He was almost invincible. James was on the cusp of having a perfect record for St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, but Roger Bacon had other plans in mind. Meet the only team that defeated James and inflicted the only loss in his high school career.

Winning a championship over LeBron James

Playing with HS phenom James was a dream for many, but Roger Bacon players needed to prove they belonged on the same court with him. In 2002, an unexpected thing happened. An Ohio team beat James' Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and clinched the Division II state championship to the tune of 63-71. Not only did Roger Bacon prove they belonged, but they also made it historically memorable.

It was a feat that only gets bigger and better through time. As James ascends to superstardom and cements his legacy as one of the best to ever do it, the players of Roger Bacon claim it makes the victory sweeter.

But how did they pull it off? The simple answer is by playing team basketball. James scored 32 points but only had one teammate who scored double-digit. Meanwhile, four players scored at least 13 points apiece for the Catholic school, led by Josh Hausfeld's 23 points.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Meet the King Slayers

Hausfeld remembered the first game, in which they lost 70-79; everyone was just starstruck, even the game officials.

"The refs were taking pictures and getting autographs with him. He was larger than life."

He later revealed the goal wasn't to win but to study how James and his team operate. Once the game was over, Roger Bacon boys had built the belief that they could hang with their opponents. But also, in their next game, LeBron James made a guarantee of winning that he would regret later on. It lit a fire in Roger Bacon players' bellies. It was all they needed to hear.

Early in the game, Beckham Wyrick sent a message to LeBron: he shoved him in the gut. It wasn't dirty, but the intent was clear, it won't be a walk in the park for their opponents. However, LeBron still did LeBron things, making shots he could only make, including an attempt beyond the half-court. It was disheartening to see it go in, but Roger Bacon boys kept the faith.

When it went down the wire, St. Vincent-St. Mary had the last possession. LeBron James had the chance to win it, but he passed to his teammate for a 3, which he missed. Roger Bacon forward, Frank Phillips knew it was the right play then.

“That was LeBron being LeBron. He's always looking for a better shot. He's always pass first. So he did make a good pass, and it was a good shot from [Mraz]. He just missed it."

If bashers ridiculed James for deferring to his teammates for game-winning moments, they probably haven't watched him long enough to see that as early as high school. Instead, the King was already looking for more wide-open teammates rather than creating for himself.

Now, all the players of Roger Bacon who won the 2002 championship share a bond that would last a lifetime. The fairy tale they helped write would be passed on to their children and the next generation. No one gave them a chance, but they believed in themselves. But, as with any underdog story, it all starts with belief, and the rest will follow. 

Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings goes off on the state of the NBA - “It’s only a couple of guys in the NBA that love the game”

Jennings' opinions are certainly divisive, but it's clear that without change the NBA would get stale, and that's why it's necessary to continue exploring ways to evolve the game

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan’s secret tattoo and the meaning behind it revealed

It's barely visible and not something MJ liked to talk about.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

Zach Snyder on directing Michael Jordan in "Playground" — “He’s a natural.”

One went on to make Space Jam, the other 300, Justice League, Army of the Dead, Man of Steel, Watchmen, and Dawn of the Dead. Two great movie careers, starting in 1990.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James and team president Pat Riley

The moment Pat Riley should've known LeBron James would one day leave Miami

Upon his arrival to Miami, LeBron made a request that should've let Riley know a new era was coming.

Dennis Rodman

How Dennis Rodman's gay bar double-date led to the Chicago Bulls winning the 1996 NBA Championship

Remember Jack Haley? It turns out he was crucial for the Bulls winning in 1996 because he was “the only person who speaks fluent Rodman,” and knew how to convince Dennis not to quit the team before Game 6 of the Finals.

Detroit Pistons center Bill Laimbeer and guard Isiah Thomas

“I don't need to take that s**t!” — when Isiah Thomas broke his hand after punching Bill Laimbeer

Isiah Thomas punched Bill Laimbeer so hard he broke his hand during one of Detroit Pistons' practices.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

“I don’t know if I could’ve survived in this Twitter (era)” — Michael Jordan on social media and cancel culture

There's no hand-checking and hard fouls in 2022. But there's Twitter, political correctness and almost no privacy whatsoever.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Remember when KCP played with an ankle monitor?

In terms of serving time, continuing to play games while in prison is not that bad.