CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP)—LeBron James(notes) went back to school Thursday, working out against the Miami Hurricanes.
The NBA’s two-time reigning MVP and some of his new Miami Heat teammates made a surprise stop at the university’s basketball facility for some informal scrimmaging against the Hurricanes. James, Udonis Haslem(notes), Mike Miller(notes), Patrick Beverley(notes) and New Orleans guard Chris Paul(notes)—a close friend of James—played pickup for more than an hour.
“Just left ‘The U’ hooping with the team … Great runs! Needed that,” James posted on Twitter after the workout session.
Some of Miami’s players hadn’t been told beforehand that James and his crew would be popping in for a workout. James and the NBA players, including injured Heat guard Mario Chalmers(notes), stayed afterward to pose for pictures.
It’s not uncommon to see NBA players working out on Miami’s campus, especially those who maintain offseason homes in South Florida. As far as the Hurricanes know, Thursday marked the first time James came for a visit since joining the Heat nearly two months ago.
“No question, it’s great having those guys here,” Miami coach Frank Haith said. “It’s a great influence for our players. They’re some of the greatest players in the NBA, so it’s obviously great for our guys and our program.”
James had a variety of eye-popping dunks during the pickup games, which were played without an audience—and with no video.
The Hurricanes hope to see plenty more of James, who has also been invited to see a Miami football game from its sideline anytime he wants—even if that happens to be Sept. 11, when the nation’s No. 13 team travels back to James’ homeland to face No. 2 Ohio State.
And if he wants to see a Miami football practice, that’s fine with the Hurricanes as well.
James created a buzz in Cleveland last season after saying he could be “really good” if he committed to playing football, and Browns coach Eric Mangini make a half-serious offer for the 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward to “come on down” to work out with the NFL club.
“You need to come out to the football field and show ur skills for us,” Hurricanes defensive back DeMarcus Van Dyke wrote to James on Twitter as news spread of the MVP’s visit to campus.