LeBron James has had a very busy summer, as he’s moving to Los Angeles officially to play for the Lakers. However, his biggest achievement this summer has nothing to do with where he’ll be playing basketball, but instead what he’s doing for the Akron, Ohio community that he grew up in.
On Monday, James’ new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio opened, a public school (not a charter school) that will have an enrollment of 240 third- and fourth-grade students in its inaugural school year. James was on hand and spoke publicly for the first time since his departure for L.A., but on Monday he reminded everyone that he’ll always be Akron’s son and explained why this is so important to him and the community.
As James told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, part of the reason the school is beginning with kids in third- and fourth-grade is because that’s when he found his inspiration and felt the most impressionable as a child, and he wants to foster the belief in these kids that you can dream bigger and can achieve more.
James, similar to his statement on Uninterrupted from Sunday, explained that he’s so invested in this school and in these kids because they’re going through the same things he went through in Akron. LeBron notes he had to navigate through the issues of drugs and violence in the community and said his friends from school were often the ones that helped him stay on the right path, and he hopes the I Promise School can provide that community for these children to find the same inspiration and guidance.
Finally, James closed with a call to arms of sorts from the adults in attendance to do everything they can to support and nurture these kids to allow them to achieve their dreams, in whatever role they have as parents, mentors, coaches, or teachers. He also made sure to let everyone know that, no matter where he resides and where he plays ball, Akron will always be home for him.