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LeBron James shows love to Duquesne’s Keith Dambrot, his old high-school coach: ‘Keep it going’

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The first March Madness upset of the year went to the No. 11 Duquesne Dukes, who took down No. 6 BYU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 71-67. 

It was Duquesne’s first NCAA Tournament win since 1969, and it led to many celebrating, including Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who has a special connection to the Dukes. 

Head coach Keith Dambrot, who is coaching his final season before retiring, was James’ high-school basketball coach at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. 

So, when he saw the final result on Thursday afternoon, James showed some love to his old coach and the Dukes on X. 

“AYYYYYYYEEEEE!!! First tournament win in 55 years!” James tweeted, while tagging Dambrot and Duquesne’s basketball page. “Keep it going.”


Dambrot said hilariously after the upset victory that his players don’t want him to head off into the “promised land,” as they all know this is his last season coaching. 

Win or lose, James wanted to help Dambrot’s program, as he gifted his signature shoes to the whole team on Wednesday before the game. 

Keith Dambrot looks on court

“At their team meeting, there was a crate of them brought in,” the truTV broadcast stated during the game. 

Other than Dambrot, one of James’ long-time friends and high-school teammates, Dru Joyce III, serves as Dambrot’s associate head coach for Duquesne. 

Duquesne has now won nine straight games after beating BYU, a team many believed could’ve made a run in the tournament this year. 

Coach Keith Dambrot and LeBron James side by side

They will now await the winner of No. 3 Illinois and No. 14 Morehead State in the second round. 

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