James Harden was born in Los Angeles, California, to Monja Willis, whom he credits as the biggest influence in his life. He has three older siblings. Harden attended Artesia High School in Lakewood, California, where he led the team to a 33-2 record and a second consecutive state title as a senior. During that season, he averaged 18.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists and was named a McDonald's All-American. He also earned second-team Parade All-American honors. Harden won a gold medal as a member of Team USA during the 2012 Olympics in London and FIBA World Championship as a captain of Team USA during the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. Harden founded 3TheHardenWay Inc. (https://www.3thehardenway.com/community), which "was established to provide higher learning opportunities for future leaders of our nation." The organization's mission is to bridge the "economic and educational gaps in the Houston Metropolitan Area by providing academic financial support to high achieving students demonstrating leadership within communities facing economic hardship." Harden also donated $1 million to aid Hurricane Harvey relief efforts after areas of Houston were devastated by flooding. In July of 2019, he became a part owner of Houston's professional soccer teams -- the Houston Dynamo of MLS and the Houston Dash of NWSL. Learn more about Harden by following him on Twitter (@JHarden13) and on Instagram (@jharden13). Harden attended Arizona State for two seasons under the tutelage of coach Herb Sendek. The 6-foot-5 guard quickly took control of the Sun Devils' offense and led the team in scoring as a freshman with 17.8 points per game. He added 5.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 steals. He was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team and the All-Freshman Team. Expectations were higher for his sophomore season, and Harden delivered. He put up 20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists to win the Pac-10 Player of the Year award. The guard scored a career-high 40 points in a win over UTEP. The Sun Devils made it to the Big Dance, but Harden struggled in two games. He was just 3-for-18 from the field on his way to a combined 19 points. Following the 2008-09 season, Harden declared for the NBA Draft with two seasons of college eligibility remaining. He was chosen by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the third overall pick.