U.S. national team midfielder Christian Pulisic has hailed NBA star LeBron James, saying the Cleveland Cavaliers forward has always been a "big inspiration."
After a video of Pulisic dunking went viral earlier this month, the Borussia Dortmund attacker discussed his basketball fandom and admiration for the four-time NBA MVP.
"LeBron James has always been the biggest one — I just love to watch him," Pulisic told ESPNFC. "I'm a big fan, and he's a big inspiration of mine. Obviously I support wherever he is."
Pulisic recalled dabbling in basketball before he joined the Dortmund youth setup in 2015, though his 5-foot-8 frame always meant soccer was the more realistic career path.
"It's definitely one of my biggest passions — I played every day after school with all my friends from high school in Pennsylvania," Pulisic said. "They weren’t really soccer players, so we would play basketball all the time.
"I played one year of competitive basketball, actually. I don't remember what grade I was in, maybe middle school or something. I was the point guard — I was the smallest one always. I did my best, I thought I did pretty good. I was always a little bit better at soccer, so I had to make the decision."
As for the video of Pulisic dunking, the 19-year-old moved to quash talk that the rim must have been lowered from the regulation height of 10 feet in order for him to reach the basket.
"Yeah, a lot of people were questioning the rim size if it was full," Pulisic said. "It is! I can jump high, I can dunk — nobody really believes that I can."