LeBron James led the Fighting Irish of St. Vincent-St. Mary to three state championships in four years – two in Division III and one in Division II. Coached for two years each by Keith Dambrot and Dru Joyce II, the Irish had a record of 101 victories and six losses over the four seasons.
1999-2000 Team (27-0)
Freshmen LeBron James and Dru Joyce III led St. Vincent-St. Mary to a 73-55 victory over Jamestown Greeneview in the Division III championship game. The 6-foot-4 James scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds while the 5-2 Joyce came off the bench and made all seven of his 3-point attempts for 21 points.
2000-2001 Team (26-1)
Beaten only once in the regular season by Oak Hill Academy of Virginia, the Irish successfully defended their state title with a 63-53 victory over Casstown Miami East in front of 17,612 spectators. Sinking 11 of 14 field goal attempts, James scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Aly Samabaly (12), Dru Joyce III (10) and John Taylor (10) scored in double figures.
2001-2002 Team (23-4)
With Dru Joyce II replacing Dambrot as head coach, St. Vincent-St. Mary moved up in class to Division II and played nine games against out of state teams, losing three. The Irish crushed Canton South, 71-46, in a state semifinal but lost a 71-63 decision to Cincinnati Roger Bacon in the title game in spite of a 32-point performance by James, who was held to three rebounds.
2002-2003 Team (25-1)
The Irish, with four senior starters, again played nine out-of-state opponents but suffered their only loss to Akron Buchtel. Victims included Oak Hill Academy, Mater Dei of Santa Ana, Calif., and R.J. Reynolds of Winston-Salem, N.C.
In the title game, the James Gang faced Kettering Alter, a team it had beaten, 73-40, three weeks earlier in Dayton. Alter held a surprising 19-14 halftime lead in the rematch, but the Irish rode James’ 25 points and 11 rebounds to a 40-36 victory.