The Lebron James of Chess?

Justus Williams in action!

Justus Williams was recently featured on “The Grio” for a candid interview. The young master gave homage to one of his sports heroes by referring to himself as the “Lebron James of chess.” Of course, Justus is not saying he is as good in chess as Lebron is in basketball, but the swagger, intensity and focus appear to be the connection he is drawing.

In the interview, Alex Presha discussed Justus’ background and discussed some of the places chess had taken him. The Williams family has established the slogan “Dare to be Different” in tribute to the hip-hop loving chess master. It is with this hope that the 12-year old scholastic star will continue to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

TheGrio's 100: Justus Williams, meet the 'LeBron James of chess'
from Todd Johnson on Vimeo.

Video from The Grio.


  1. Jeffrey,

    Are you talking about the article, video or “The Decision”? I think people have a disdain for rich, Black athlete having such choices. His decision in an hour-long special was not good advice by his management. I’m sure you’ve heard all of this.

    Justus suggestion made me remember this video of Lebron playing chess! I love this video because it combines both the mental and physical agility required in basketball. I would be interested to know if Lebron James really plays chess. Maybe one day Lebron could meet Justus! Not sure how we can arrange this, but since Lebron made this commercial, he may be interested.

    I remember the flack Maurice Ashley got when he was dubbed “The Tiger Woods of Chess”. There was all kinds of negative comments on the Internet about it. We knew the connection being drawn, but many were saying that it was not accurate since he wasn’t the best player in the world… blah blah blah. I’m hoping people don’t start start making critical remarks here.

    I think Justus’ Lebron James connection is interesting. It is something he can aspire to be. It would be great if he could ascend to be one of the best players in the country. However, he should enjoy chess as long as he has the passion for it.

  2. Daaim:
    I am sure we all have made some poor decisions in our life. The “Decision” was one of Lebron’s choices. I live in the Cleveland area, so I constantly have to hear about Lebron this and Lebron that (I don’t have the heart to tell them I’m from Chicago). It would be interesting to hear what athletes play chess. I know a former Seahawk was a good chess player and promoted the game. BTW if Lebron was straight forward and told the team the truth, it would not have made a difference.

  3. I agree… given the kind of man Dan Gilbert turned out to be, it would not have made a difference. The tirade against Lebron still would have happened. Gilbert was venomous in his comments about Lebron and he was applauded by fans in Cleveland.

    I doubt if they win 20 games this year, but certainly Lebron brought them on the brink of a championship and made them a contender. Without him, they are barely an NBA-level team. People think they own athletes. That’s the problem. Lebron does not owe anyone in Cleveland anything. Well… I’m from Chicago and I’m hoping we will beat Lebron today, but I wish him success in Miami.

    There are lots of athletes who play. Shaun Alexander is the player that you’ve mentioned. There were many others including Priest Holmes and of course the most famous may be Lennox Lewis.

  4. hmmm…after he went to the US Chess School Dec 26-30 with the other top Juniors, he said that he was going to switch his openings to more theoretical lines. After that he gained 44 points to get to 2262 in 2 and a half months!!

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