NBA honors LeBron James for work with Ohio youth
With the NBA season barely two weeks old, superstar LeBron James has bagged his first trophy — this one for off court philanthropic work.
James, in his first season since joining the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent, received the Offseason NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of his efforts to create the I PROMISE School and provide lasting educational resources for youth and families in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, the league said Thursday.
James and the LeBron James Family Foundation opened the I PROMISE School on July 30 and welcomed its first class of more than 240 third- and fourth-grade students.
Designed to help kids navigate many of the challenges James and his family faced during his youth, the school provides meals, busing, supplies, bikes, uniforms and an innovative curriculum focused on STEM studies, social-emotional support and experiential learning.
The school also provides resources for students’ parents to continue their education or seek jobs, find legal support, counselling or other resources.
Since 2015, the I PROMISE program has partnered with the University of Akron to guarantee four-year college scholarships to all eligible students who graduate from high school.
The I PROMISE School will gradually add grade levels each year until it reaches full capacity of first through eighth grades by 2022.
James, 33, is a three-time NBA champion, winning twice with Miami before guiding the Cleveland Cavaliers to the crown.
The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player competed in the last eight NBA Finals, from 2011-14 with Miami and 2015-18 with Cleveland.
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