James Harden

James Harden

James Harden never dreamed he would grow up to be an Olympian one day—he just had dreams of playing basketball in the NBA. Harden grew up in Los Angeles, CA with his mother and two brothers. Wanting her son to avoid the crime and violence in their neighborhood, Harden’s mom sent him out of the neighborhood for schooling. It wasn’t long before Harden was playing basketball and averaging 13.2 points in a game. By his junior year, he was averaging 18.8 points per game.

After graduation, Harden played for Arizona State and finished his sophomore year with averages of 20 points per game. At the conclusion of the season, he declared for the 2009 draft and was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 2012, he was traded to the Houston Rockets and was soon scoring 30 plus points per game.



SPORT: Basketball

BORN: August 26, 1989

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA

HEIGHT: 6 ft 5 in

WEIGHT: 220 lb

COLLEGE: Arizona State University

OLYMPIC MEDALS: Gold Medalist in 2012

OTHER TITLES/NOTABLE WINS: 4× NBA All-Star (2013–2016), 2× All-NBA First Team (2014, 2015), All-NBA Third Team (2013), NBA Sixth Man of the Year (2012), NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2010)



“No matter what the haters say, no matter when people doubt you, focus on what you want to do, and go out there and achieve it.”

That same year, Harden was invited to join Team USA as a member of the 2012 Olympic basketball team in London. Harden’s team went undefeated 8-0 and captured the gold after defeating Spain. After winning the gold, coach Mike Krzyzewski said Harden “is the best player, he is the best leader and he is smart as anybody playing the game right now.”


While he was invited to play in the 2016 Olympic Games, Harden declined due to personal reasons. “I have been extremely blessed to wear the ‘red, white and blue’ and to compete at the highest level with the greatest players representing the greatest country in the world,” says Harden.

Although Harden will not be playing in Rio, he is sure to be cheering on his teammates to bring home the gold.

“If you have a dream, chase it no matter what it takes.”

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