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As many of you know, I hail from Cleveland, OH where only two things I know to be certain: the Browns will forever suck and LeBron James will forever be king of the smallest big city in the U.S. We weren't always sure he would become our king, however. James' mom presented him with a HUMMER H2 on his 18th birthday, which caused the Ohio High School Athletic Association to investigate the matter to ensure the SUV wasn't an inappropriately accepted gift. The turmoil surrounding the SUV almost prevented our dribbling deity from entering the NBA.

LeBron still drives that HUMMER, although it has received a makeover by Unique Autosports of Long Island for the season premier of Unique Whips on SPEED. The HUMMER got a new paint job, new grille, new wheels and a custom interior with enough gadgets and technology to make a West Coast Customs guy cry. James already received the redone H2 at his home somewhere in the "Heart of it All" Ohio, but you can watch the transformation of this infamous ride in the premiere of Unique Whips on Feb. 21st at 10PM EST on SPEED (check your local listingsv - isn't that what they always say at this part?).

Check out the full press release after the jump.

[Source: Unique Autosports]


PRESS RELEASE:

NBA All-Star LeBron James to be Featured in Season Three Premiere of SPEED Hit Unique Whips
Controversial High School Hummer Gets Major Makeover
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jan. 31, 2007

NBA All-Star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers will be
featured in the season-opening episode of the SPEED hit weekly series
Unique Whips on Feb. 21 at 10 p.m. ET. The episode, also featuring
performer 50 Cent, will focus on the James' controversial 2003 Hummer
H2.

"My man Jermaine O'Neal from the Indiana Pacers called me up and
told me anytime I need anything with a car, I should call this guy
Will Castro," James said. "Will is a cool dude and he was like
'Whatever you need me to do, let's hook up' and the rest is history."

Castro and his team from Unique Autosports on Long Island gave the
Hummer a makeover from top to bottom. The platinum SUV raised eyebrows
when James got the ride as an 18th birthday present from his mother
before LeBron joined the NBA. Ohio High School Athletic Association
investigated, concerned James may have violated his amateur status by
accepting an improper gift, but a two-week probe found nothing
improper.

"LeBron's Hummer had a life of its own before it ever came to
Unique," said Castro, founder and owner of Unique Autosports. "But it
was looking a little old ... a little tired, so we gave it some
special treatment and laced it out. Now, it's breathin' and ready to
stand out in the crowd again."

On the season-opening episode of Unique Whips, part of SPEED's
highly rated Wednesday night lineup, Castro and his team bring the
ride "back to life," painting it ebony black, updating the grill and
rims and loading the inside with a custom interior and the latest
electronic gadgets, including a touch-screen computer with Internet
access and a navigation system.

"I might as well live in here," James said when presented with the
car at his home. "All I need is a pillow and a blanket and I'm
straight. Nobody is better than Unique doing things with cars ... they
passed the test. They got an A-plus and a No. 1 on their report card."

Other celebrities to be featured during season three of Unique
Whips include athletes O'Neal, Al Harrington, Gary Sheffield, Andruw
Jones, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Winky Wright, fashion icon Marc
Ecko and a wild season finale with actress Pamela Anderson and her
"Lovestream" trailer.

SPEED is the nation's first and foremost cable television network
dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive.
From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED delivers
quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in
more than 74 million homes in North America, SPEED is among the
fastest-growing sports cable networks in the country, the home to
NASCAR on SPEED and an industry leader in interactive TV, video on
demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services.