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'Never should've left': Large crowd gathers for chance to see Lebron James' return to Seattle

It was Lebron James' first time in Seattle in more than 15 years. The Seattle Supersonics' final season ended in 2008.

SEATTLE — The Crawsover Pro-Am event was the hottest event Saturday as people waited in line for hours to get a chance to see Lebron James and other NBA stars return to a Seattle court.

It was James' first time in Seattle in more than 15 years. The Seattle Supersonic final season ended in 2008.

A large crowd began gathering early Saturday morning at SPU as entrance to the public was free. The Crawsover Pro-Am League has been going on all summer at Seattle Pacific University (SPU).

Armon Hickman and his son Toronto were two of very few prepared to wait.

"We used to camp out. So, I know what to bring to a camp, some shoes and some snacks. With a kid though it's different, it's my first time bringing a little one his age," said Hickman.

Anyone who expected a small crowd for a lineup of legends and Seattle hometown heroes was proven wrong by thousands, including some who spent the night and some who got a little rowdy, aiming for their shot at a seat inside.

It took extra time to corral the crowd based on how big and ready people were but Crawsover did their best to get lots of kids inside, sharing the spirit of basketball with the next generation. With the size of the crowd sending a message.

"This is going down in history for us," said Hickman. "We're hungry, we need it, never should've left and now we're gonna have a better respect for it when we get it."

This is a city with a love for the game.

A number of big-name guests with Washington state connections also attended including Isaiah Thomas, Chet Holmgren, Dejounte Murray and Paolo Banchero.

Thomas was born in Tacoma, attended high school in University Place, and played for the University of Washington Huskies before declaring for the draft in 2011. Thomas played for a number of NBA teams, and most recently was with the Charlotte Hornets for part of the 2022 season. 

Banchero, an O'Dea High School star, played one season at Duke before he was drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic. The second pick from the draft -- Holmgren -- will also be playing on Saturday.

Holmgren was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder after one season with the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Murray played basketball at Rainier Beach High School and the University of Washington before going pro after one season. He played four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs before being traded to Atlanta.


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