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Just a Kid from Akron

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Dec 23, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James attracts a lot of attention, especially on the court. Whether you think he is better than Michael Jordan or a “crybaby” probably depends on if you are an Ohioan or not. Either way, he is considered “The King” for a reason. He brings hope and change to a state that has had its ups and downs throughout the years. As the saying goes if you love someone set them free… well, that is what we- Ohioans- had to do when he went to Miami for a few years… but he came back… and he is ours forever.

Besides his phenomenal accomplishments on the court, more importantly, he is changing the lives of many off the court. In 2004, James founded the LeBron James Family Foundation. The mission is to positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives.

In 2015, James announced a partnership with the University of Akron to provide a guaranteed four-year scholarship to the school for up to 41 qualified students in James’ “I Promise” program. That would cost his foundation a total of $41.8 million at the school’s current rates (Foxsports, 2015). On 11 April 2017, James announced that the foundation will be partnering with the Akron Public Schools to design a brand new school for the most at-risk Akron students. It will be called the I Promise School and will instruct children in first through eighth grades. The goal is to be able to support students and their families in and out of the classroom. The anticipated opening of the school is fall of 2018 admitting third and fourth graders, and adding the rest of the grades by 2020.

James is not only helping kids in the Akron area. One of his first projects was building playgrounds in communities across the country. The first being installed in 2008 at the St. Bernard Recreation Center in New Orleans, an area that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. These are just a few of the many amazing things that James is doing with his foundation. No matter how you feel about the man on the court, kudos to the man who is truly making a difference to so many kids and their families.

The following article contributed to this content: http://www.foxsports.com/nba/story/lebron-james-college-scholarships-akron-university-cavaliers-i-promise-081315

By Sandra K. Geringer

Sandra Geringer is Acting Director of Sport Studies at the United States Sports Academy. Geringer can be reached at sgeringer@ussa.edu

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