Lebron James dazzles young fans at Southorn

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 August, 2005, 12:00am

His slam-dunk skills dazzled young fans at Southorn Stadium on Saturday, but NBA phenomenon Lebron James says the road to superstar status begins with practising the basics.

'At a young age, I was just doing fundamental drills,' the 20-year-old - who spent two nights in Hong Kong, the final destination of his week-long Nike Asia Tour - told the press at the Intercontinental Hotel. He visited Japan and the mainland earlier.

'I think you need to learn a right-hand and left-hand lay-up and learn how to dribble with both hands all the way down the court,' James said.

'You have to learn how to shoot a perfect jump-shot and learn about team basketball. As I got older, I developed all those skills. I still do a lot of basic work like running, trying to stay in shape and be fit for the NBA season, because it's a really long season.'

Later, the Cleveland Cavaliers stand-out attended the Nike League championship final at Southorn Stadium, and received an enthusiastic welcome from a crowd of 1,500 young fans.

He watched the closing minutes of the under-19 final, and then judged a slam-dunk contest at the same venue.

Young Hong Kong star Lo Yi-ting won the event, receiving 10 out of 10 from the NBA Rookie of the Year.

James then thrilled onlookers when he demonstrated his awesome slam-dunk skills.

Preparation is the key to success, said James.

'The way I prepare is to try and improve every aspect of my game. If I felt that I didn't shoot the ball as well as I thought I should, then I spend more time on shooting. If rebounds need work, then I will try to concentrate on rebounds. Working on every aspect of my game will improve our team,' James said.

Later in the day he visited a sports shop in Mongkok to promote a new line of sports shoes.

He also watched local youth perform freestyle moves and two-on-two games at MacPherson Stadium.

The Ohio-born prodigy, tipped to become one of the game's greatest players, said he was preparing for a shot at the NBA title next season.

'I will not expect anything less than a play-off berth. That's our goal and we are going to work towards it.'