LeBron James’ former high school teammate recreates ‘Cleveland, this is for you!’ after Horizon League win

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Cleveland State University assistant coach Dru Joyce III recreated LeBron James’ iconic 2016 salute on Tuesday night after the school clinched a berth in the upcoming NCAA men’s basketball tournament.


Joyce, who played basketball with James at Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School two decades ago, has remained close with the superstar. In celebrating Cleveland State’s achievement, Joyce also took time to channel the greatest moment of his close friend’s time with the Cavaliers.

That came following Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, when James led the Cavs to the franchise’s first and only title with a stirring comeback from a 3-1 deficit.

James earned Finals MVP honors for his efforts and then offered an emotional outburst that was the culmination of his goal when he re-signed with the team in 2014.

Since leaving the Cavaliers in 2018, James has gone on to capture another title as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won his fourth Finals MVP trophy last October.

Joyce is part of a Cleveland State team that will now wait until Sunday to find out which school they will face when the annual NCAA tournament gets underway next week.

While the odds of Cleveland State advancing deep into the tournament are likely long, Joyce made sure to capture the moment by recalling one of Cleveland’s greatest sports moments.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.