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Leon Powe
Leon Powe
Position: -
Born: 01/22/84
Height: 6-8 / 2.03
Weight:240 lbs. / 108.9 kg.
Earnings: $3,688,078 ($4,684,118*)
“It’s unfortunate I had some injuries that a lot of players go through. But I had three or four major ones on the same knee, so I figured it might have been that time where my knee was like, ‘You know what? It’s just not happening this time.’ All the other times I came back, but that time it felt kind of different.” Powe can still play occasionally. The left knee doesn’t cause him much discomfort, but if he were to try to practice for a few hours, “my leg just can’t sustain it for a whole practice or whole game. Once you don’t have control over your knee, you can blow it.
While James was a local basketball star in Akron, Ohio, at that time, he was largely unknown to the rest of the nation when he came to play in a tournament for the AAU Oakland Soldiers in 2000. The Soldiers were founded in 1990 in the Oakland suburb of Richmond. Twenty-five years later, it has now grown into an AAU powerhouse with alumni that include James, Chauncey Billups, Brandon Jennings, Leon Powe, Aaron Gordon, Chuck Hayes, Jabari Brown, Kendrick Perkins and Stanley Johnson. Fifteen years after first playing for the Soldiers, James returns to the Bay Area to lead his Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. “It’s amazing because that part of his life he never talks about publicly,” Olivier said. “But I thought we had some good times and we still talk about it.”
Powe and James were teammates with the Cavaliers during the 2009-10 season and occasionally would reminisce about their Soldiers days. “He would tell everybody, ‘That was Leon’s team, man,’ ” Powe said. Andrews said that James last attended a Soldiers game five years ago, but his mom still comes to games on occasion. James also visited with Olivier and met his 15-year-old daughter Jaidan for the first time after the Cavaliers played the Warriors in Oakland on Jan. 9. “LeBron always told me he wanted to meet my daughter that my wife was pregnant with when we met him,” Olivier said.