Second Best to Lebron

Local Sports

The first team ever to chase Lebron James wasn’t an NBA team. 

It was a team from Rochester: the 2003 McQuaid Jesuit Knights. 

That was Lebron’s last summer before heading to the NBA. His St. Vincent-St. Mary team was number one in the USA Today national rankings. McQuaid spent much of the season at number two. 

Lebron’s fame made McQuaid and the rankings a Rochester phenomena. The Knights drew ten thousand fans to Blue Cross Arena for sectionals. Three straight games. 

They got to know Lebron on a somewhat personal level as a high schooler and before he became “King James” when both teams played in the same New Jersey tournament. 

The Knights ran an undefeated season right on through the state finals, where they had to rally late to win a championship. 

This is the story of that season from the players and coaches who lived it. 

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