LeBron James Is Named the Official Starter of the 24 Hours of Le Mans

LeBron James is no stranger to making history. Now the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is hitting a milestone in an entirely different sport.

James will be the official starter for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, set to be held on June 10, as the race celebrates its 100th anniversary. The basketball legend’s new role comes on the heels of him becoming the most prolific scorer in NBA history earlier this year and the first active NBA player to earn $1 billion in 2022.

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“There’s nothing like seeing and experiencing sports at their highest level,” James said. “It’s an honor for me to be part of this historic moment in motorsport and help celebrate the centenary of one of the biggest sporting events in the world. I look forward to kicking off this iconic race and watching its world-class drivers compete on Le Mans’ global stage.”

“LeBron James is a true sporting legend whose list of achievements and records commands respect and admiration,” Pierre Fillon, president of Automobile Club de l’Ouest (which organizes the event), said, according to Motorsport.com. “We are looking forward to introducing him to the unique Le Mans atmosphere and the excitement generated by the centenary of the world’s greatest endurance race.”

James is certainly in good company. The ceremonial role has been filled by stars, such as Rafael Nadal (in 2018), Brad Pitt (2016), and Steve McQueen (1971), in the past, as well as other prominent figures in politics, sports and film.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a prestigious endurance sports car race held every year in—you guessed it—Le Mans, France. The first event took place in 1923, making it among the oldest active endurance races in the world. Last week, Ferrari topped the Le Mans Test Day just ahead of the Italian luxury sports car manufacturer’s return to the iconic event. And this year, the winners of the races will receive a specially engraved Rolex Daytona. How’s that for a grand prize?

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