As a freshman in high school, James Harden wrote his dreams onto a piece of paper with a simple note promising his mom, ‘Imma Be A Star.’
Now, 13 years after winning Artesia High School’s 2005 MVP Award, James has been awarded the prestigious honor of being the NBA’s 2017-18 Most Valuable Player. His career-year made Rockets’ franchise history and established a new standard with 30.4 points and 8.8 assists per game.
To inspire future stars of the game and commemorate the note his mom has kept to this day, adidas introduces the “Imma Be A Star” film featuring Monja Willis’ response to her son. In her letter, Monja recalls steps along the way of the remarkable path James has created for himself.
The “Imma Be A Star” film chronicles Harden’s journey starting from his childhood driveway in Los Angeles; to being crowned Artesia High’s MVP; to turning heads at Arizona State University; to having his name called in the 2009 NBA Draft and ultimately; his historic MVP run in Houston.
Here is Monja Willis’ letter in response to her son:
When you were born, I nicknamed you Lucky
but luck has nothing to do with it.
You created your own path.
The hours in our driveway,
paved the way to state championships.
In the desert you grew your game and you shattered expectations,
it wasn’t long until you suited up for Draft Day.
Looking back now,
you’ve always been creative.
Doing it your way,
on your own terms.
You were dreaming big then,
but when you left me that note “keep this paper Imma Be A Star,”
you were already my brightest star.
And now you’re showing everyone else.
In celebration of James’ record-setting season, adidas Basketball is unveiling a special edition Harden MVP Collection. Featuring the Harden Vol. 2, Harden LS 2 and Harden B/E (Brothers Through Everything) X models, these three new stars in the Harden collection recognize his path to MVP and will be available for limited release. The MVP Collection features a blue and gold color palette inspired by the seal of the City of Compton, where James grew up, with MVP callouts to honor No. 13’s ‘Imma Be A Star’ story.
The collection story begins with the family and friends who supported Harden through it all and are represented by the Harden B/E X. The latest iteration of Harden’s performance line sits atop full-length Bounce cushioning and is designed with black, blue and gold details. The lifestyle evolution of the Harden collection, Harden LS 2, is a personal favorite of James’ mother Monja, who has known his star-potential from the start. The MVP edition is laced up in blue mesh with gold accents and full-length black Boost. Harden Vol. 2 is the signature model of Harden’s collection which he wore on-court throughout his MVP season. Its unique build was constructed to elevate James’ deceptive footwork and amplify his ability to create space, but now, raises the game once more as a standout shoe that signifies who the greatest star on the court is.
Harden Vol. 2 ($160), Harden LS 2 ($180) and Harden B/E X ($110) are available now on adidas.com in limited quantities.