Christian Pulisic LeBron James has always been a big inspiration

Borussia Dortmund, Christian Pulisic, Clubs, German Bundesliga, Story, United States

Christian Pulisic tells Raphael Honigstein about his passion for basketball and how he would play every evening as a kid.

MARBELLA, Spain — Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic has told ESPN that NBA superstar LeBron James is one of his biggest sporting inspirations, while also discussing his own dunking skills.

Pulisic, 19, revealed his admiration for the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar, who is known to be a big football fan and offered to turn out for Liverpool in 2016.

“LeBron James has always been a big inspiration of mine,” Pulisic said in an exclusive interview with ESPN’s Raphael Honigstein at the Bundesliga side’s winter training camp in Marbella. “I’m a big fan — I just love to watch him and I obviously support wherever he is.”

The United States international, who grew up in Pennsylvania before making the move to Germany, also admitted that his general love of the NBA leads him to take an interest in a number of teams.

“I also like my hometown team, the [Philadelphia] 76ers,” he said. “I like to follow a lot of different teams and different players — I just really like the sport.”

In addition to his standout performances for Dortmund on the football pitch, in recent weeks Pulisic has also proved that his talents extend to the basketball court.

Despite standing at under 6 feet tall, the midfielder impressed some of his club teammates, including striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, by displaying his dunking skills in a video posted to his official Instagram account.

In an exclusive interview during Borussia Dortmund’s winter training camp, Christian Pulisic tells ESPN that his country puts too much expectation on him after their World Cup exit. 

In light of the video, Pulisic revealed he played the sport competitively before shifting his focus to football.

“I played one year of competitive basketball actually,” he said. “I don’t remember what grade I was in, maybe middle school or something. I was always the smallest one but I did my best. I thought I did pretty good but I was always a little bit better at soccer so I had to make the decision.

“[Basketball] is definitely one of my biggest passions. I played every day after school with all my friends from high school in Pennsylvania. They weren’t really soccer players so we would play basketball all the time.

“I still love the sport — it’s just something I’ve always loved to do.”

Despite expressing his interest in emulating the likes of baseball-turned-NFL star Bo Jackson in one day moving from football to the NBA, Pulisic admitted that any transition would be unlikely.

“I don’t know if I’d be allowed to do that, but I would if I could!” he joked.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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