SAN JOSE -- Just how innovative are Silicon Valley product designers? The latest up-and-comer is a 6th grader getting props from one of the world's biggest superstars.

Rahul Mamtora, an 11-year-old from San Jose, was picked by LeBron James to design the NBA MVP's next T-shirt after Nike waded through hundreds of submissions from around the country.

"He killed it," James wrote on his Facebook page Monday, announcing the winner to his 15.5 million followers.

Rahul, an unassuming point guard for his local AAU team, saw last month that James and Nike posted a YouTube video inviting submissions to design his next shirt. He sat down next to his mom, pulled out a sketch pad and banged out a drawing in 45 minutes -- not his best, but still pretty good, he thought.

A few weeks later, Nike emailed the family telling them they had won, and then sent a professional film crew to interview Rahul at his home in the Evergreen neighborhood and his school, Tom Matsumoto Elementary.

"That was pretty cool," shrugged Rahul Monday.

Rahul, who is actually a Golden State Warriors fan who adores Stephen Curry, said he came up with the idea for the shirt while drawing it.

At the center are two fingers with NBA championship rings -- James won his second title last year -- and the slogan "Not one, not two." When James famously took his talents to South Beach and joined the Miami Heat a few years ago, he declared that he would win "not one, not two" championships -- before stopping at "not seven."

"People thought that was pretty arrogant, but now he actually did that," Rahul said of the first two titles.

Below the rings is the phrase "Not given. Earned" -- a twist on an "Earned not given" James shirt from last year. The hardest part, he said, was keeping the news secret for two weeks while Nike worked on the rollout of the announcement, not exactly an easy task for a young kid in school and on social media.

Rahul, whose two passions are basketball and drawing, was in the middle of writing Nike as part of a school assignment when he submitted the drawing. His idea? The company could invite kids to its Oregon-based headquarters to learn about design and submit their ideas. Now he has an invitation from Nike to do just that.

"I was like, 'Wow, this is an 11-year-old thinking like this,' " said his mother, molecular biologist Gargi Mamtora, 44. When she first saw the drawing, "I thought, 'Oh this is nice,' and I went back to work. We have sort of taken his talent for granted."

As part of the prize, his school will receive a few thousand dollars worth of PE equipment, and the family is getting an all-expenses paid trip to a Heat home game. The shirt is on sale online now for $30 -- and coming to local stores soon -- but the family had to sign over its rights to the design as part of the submission and won't get a cut of the sales.

His mother and father, 46-year-old product engineer Paddy Mamtora, are OK with that -- they're just proud of their son and happy that he got an opportunity to talk with professional designers about his passion when the Nike crew visited San Jose.

Plus there are serious bragging rights. Not only is Rahul quite the celebrity among his friends, but the shirt is expected to hit local malls this week.

Rahul said when he sees people wearing it, "I'll probably go tell them, 'Hey, that's my shirt.' "

Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at twitter.com/RosenbergMerc.