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CONTACT: Reuben Uy
PHONE: (713) 348-5555

Cleveland Cavaliers point-guard rookie sensation to take office July 1

HOUSTON--December 17, 2003 -- Described by colleagues as "an academic baller of the highest order," a player of "unquestioned trustworthiness, integrity and honesty," and one who passes the ball, takes good shots, and acts determinedly, Leebron "King" James, the Professor of Ankle-Breaking and Dean of the School-Bus-Driving, will become the 7th President of Rice University, effective July 1.

The chairman of the Rice Board of Trustees, E. William Barnett, made the announcement Wednesday, Dec. 17, after the board voted unanimously in favor of trading Sammy the Owl and a 2nd round draft pick for the teenage superstar.  He will succeed Malcolm Gillis, who earlier announced he would retire on June 30, 2004, due to chronic back problems after 11 years as president of Rice.

Leebron (pronounced le-BRON), 19, has been consistently improving his game since his debut to the NBA.  He is averaging a little over 20 points , 6 boards , and 6 assists per game.  The more people see of Leebron, Barnett said, the more they are going to like him.

"We signed Leebron because we felt he was a confident, cool, charismatic leader that epitomized our university. Just look at his stats--if he can do that while he's 19, just imagine what he'll be able to do when he's 48!!"  

Leebron said that he was equally impressed with Rice and Houston:

"I feel so privileged to be given the opportunity to help lead an institution of Rice University's quality--During high school, sometimes you can just relax, but in the university you have to play every second like it's your last," he said. "I am extremely pleased that I will get to see Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets play on a regular basis.  I will be sad to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, but at the same time cannot imagine a more exciting opportunity than this.  PEACE OUT."  Later that day, Leebron's hummer got hit by the MetroRail while he was driving to Pho Saigon and he recanted his previous statement.  "This place SUCKS," he said.

Jim Crownover, Rice trustee and chairman of the 15-person search committee that unanimously recommended Leebron to the board, said the committee had developed a list of 20 criteria for evaluating candidates.  The committee also started with one unofficial prohibition: "No stupid idiots."

"You will not meet anyone smarter than Leebron James," said Robert Curl, Nobel Prize-winning chemistry professor. "I am awestruck at his ability to think on his feet about a subject he knows far less about than we — Rice University.  His best attribute is his ability to make the correct pass with flair.  His size and versatility allow him to play multiple positions. Coaches and teammates praise his unselfishness.  Leebron is the man.  It's like he's not even human, people.  It's almost as if he came from the planet with all those Space Jam monsters and wants to teach us a lesson.  He's saying, 'Look at me!! I'm 19 and I'm in the NBA!!  What have YOU done with your life??  You're still in college!!! hAAhaahahahaha!!! =P'"

Born and reared in Akron, OH, Leebron led St. Vincent-St. Mary (SVSM) to three state championships in four seasons. He was named Mr. Basketball for the state of Ohio by AP and named to USA Today All-USA First Team three times.  His first order of business as Rice University's president will be to build 30 more parking gates and implement the controversial "key to the 'bling-bling'" plan.

# # #

Rice University is consistently ranked one of America’s best teaching and research universities. It is distinguished by its abundance of parking gates (at least one for every student) and low student to parking space ratio (5 students for every parking space).  Rice is also notorious for saying that they will give students the "key to the kitchen" but effectively locking up the kitchens so that students starve while studying for tests at 3am in the morning.




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