James is a basketball player, originally from Inglewood, on the West Beverly Hills High School basketball team. Brandon Walsh first speaks with him at Peach Pit after they both try out for the team. James humors Brandon after he tells him he hopes they'll be playing together that year. He later shows up in Brandon's tech class telling their teacher, Ms. Yamado, that he won't have his assignment done on time. Ms. Yamado gives him a little leeway to get the assignment in. Brandon begins to suspect preferential treatment from the school because James lives out of district.
Brandon, after learning from Andrea Zuckerman that James has no school record with a program, approaches James and accuses him of not having the right to be at the school. James takes offence and tells Brandon that if James was white, Brandon wouldn't care. He then storms away. Brandon approaches James at the library and the two have a shouting match, at which point James tells off Brandon, citing that he has a right to go to the school because he has a relative that works for the city. Later, the two of them mend fences while shooting hoops and come to a mutual understanding of each other.