James Harden—A Star on and off the Court —Andrew Crosthwaite Now in his ninth year in the NBA, James Harden is a star because of his scoring skills, his beard, and his unique fashion sense.
Harden is an excellent shooter, and in the 2017-2018 season he led the league in scoring and was named an NBA All-Star for the sixth season in a row. He also helped his team, the Houston Rockets, finish with the best record in the league. Harden was rewarded for his individual play this season by earning the NBA MVP Award.
Things weren’t always so easy for him. He grew up in Compton, Los Angeles, one of the most dangerous places in America. His family was poor, and his father was in jail for most of his childhood. Harden’s mother made sure he stayed out of trouble by encouraging him to play basketball. One day, he wrote her a note saying that he would be a basketball star. Even though he has asthma, Harden worked hard and achieved his goal when he entered the NBA in 2009. His mother still has that note.