As the Duquesne Dukes prepare for their first NCAA Tournament game since 1977, the team received a gift from an unlikely source. Photo Credit: Duquesne Dukes on Twitter/X Photo Credit: Duquesne Dukes on Twitter/X

For the first time since 1977, the Duquesne Dukes have made the NCAA Tournament.

The No. 11 seed Dukes will face off with the No. 6 seed BYU Cougars on Thursday morning in Omaha.

It’s been a tremendous season and a tremendous story for Duquesne, made even better by the fact that head coach Keith Dambrot will be retiring after their run ends, making for a tremendous sendoff.

Before taking the Duquesne job in 2017, Dambrot spent 13 years as head coach of the Akron Zips, a job he took in 2004 following a successful coaching stint at Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

If the name of that school at that time rings a bell to you, it should! Dambrot was the high school coach of the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and four-time MVP LeBron James.

With Dambrot set to retire, James wanted to do something special for his old coach’s team, so he sent the Dukes a pair of shoes for every player on the team to enjoy. The school shared a video of the awesome gesture Wednesday night on X.

Shortly after the video, James responded on X, wishing the Dukes luck against BYU.

This had to be a cool moment for these players, who have grown up watching LeBron play. He’s been in the NBA for longer than some of them have been alive, even.

[Duquesne Dukes, LeBron James]