James was born and raised in Sussex, England where he grew up playing rugby, soccer, and swimming before attending Millfield School for the later years of his secondary education. Before coming to Duke, James was a 2013 World Trials qualifier, a British Gas International Open meet junior champion and a gold medal winner at the South of England Zonal Championships his last year in England (courtesy of goduke.com). Now at Duke, James has continued his swimming career training sprint freestyle.
While in England, James competed for his boarding school swim team under Jol Fink where he garnered two silver metals at the National Youth Championship.
During his freshman year at Duke, James competed in the ACC Championship meet in the 50 and 100 free, and the 100 backstroke. He scored for the Blue Devils in the 50 and 100 free, and was also a part of the 200 and 400 medley relays along with the 200 and 400 free relays at the ACC Championship meet.
James is majoring in Economics and aspires to work in the field after graduating.