WOW: LeBron James Wanted to Play for Cincinnati Bearcats and Bob Huggins

Nov 27, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) smiles
Nov 27, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) smiles / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

CINCINNATI — LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players ever. He went from high school straight to the NBA, but the four-time World Champion revealed that there was a time in his life when he wanted to play for the Cincinnati Bearcats.

"I loved Cincinnati," James said on the Mind The Game podcast. "I remember as a kid watching it. When I was growing up I wanted to go to Cincinnati because of the uniforms and because of Huggs."

The 90s and early 2000s Bearcats were one of the coolest teams in college basketball.

James mentioned former Bearcats head coach Bob Huggins. He also talked about Steve Logan, Kenyon Martin, Kenny Satterfield, Demar Johnson and Ruben Patterson.

Obviously James went straight to the NBA. He also mentioned wanting to play for North Carolina as he got older. It is a fun "what if?" and it's a reminder of how the Bearcats were viewed in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Check out the clip below and watch the full discussion here.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel on all things Bearcats athletics and Bearcat Blitz on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!

Make sure you bookmark Bearcats Talk for the latest news, exclusive interviews, film breakdowns and so much more. 

You may also like:

Bearcats Commit Kolin Wilson Details Decision

Report: Northern Kentucky Transfer Puts Cincinnati in Final Five Schools

Watch: Jason Kelce Surprise Reveal at WWE's Wrestlemania

Pair of Key Bearcats Players Announce Their Returns For 2024-25 Season

2025 Three-Star Cornerback Joshua Patterson Dives Deep Into Cincinnati Bearcats Visit

Look: Bearcats Forward Announces His Return to Cincinnati For 2024-25 Season

Look: Aziz Bandaogo Announces Future Plans With Cincinnati Involved

Four-Star Running Back Kory Amachree Talks Cincinnati Offer

Cincinnati Forward Viktor Lakhin Entering Transfer Portal

Look: Edgerrin James Confirms Jizzle James is Returning to Cincinnati for Sophomore Season

Watch: Brady Drogosh Picks Off Pass at Linebacker, Spring Game Updates

2026 Offensive Lineman Landry Brede Breaks Down Cincinnati Bearcats Visits

Zach Edey Joins Cincinnati Legend Oscar Robertson With Special NCAA Tournament Feat

Look: Former Cincinnati Player Compares Wes Miller to UConn Head Coach Dan Hurley

Look: Jowon Briggs Posts Strong Numbers at Big 12 Pro Day

Watch: Gavin Gerhardt Discusses Returning O-Line, Depth, and More Following Spring Practice

Look: Loyola Hires Cincinnati Assistant Coach Josh Loeffler as Head Coach

Report: Conference Revenue Sharing Splits Revealed From New College Football Playoff Media Contract

Jason and Travis Kelce to Host “New Heights Live” Show at University of Cincinnati Campus

Recruiting Roundup: Cincinnati Welcoming in Five-Star 2026 DL JaReylan McCoy For Visit


Be sure to keep it locked on Bearcats Talk all the time!

Follow All Bearcats on Twitter: @BearcatsTalk

Like All Bearcats on Facebook: All Bearcats

Published |Modified
James Rapien


James Rapien covers the Bengals for Sports Illustrated's and the Bearcats for He is one-half of the Locked on Bengals Podcast. He earned a journalism degree from the University of Cincinnati and has spent the majority of his professional career in the Queen City. Rapien previously covered the Cavaliers and Indians in Cleveland. He has a background in radio, which includes stops at 700 WLW, ESPN 1530 and 92.3 The Fan. He loves a good trade rumor and uses copious amounts of hot sauce on his food. Cincinnati chili is his go-to meal, followed by gallons of mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. When he isn't working or eating, he's probably walking his dog Finley or spending time with his family.