Remember what Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker in the first Spider-Man movie? “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Many dismiss it as a cheesy line, but others, like basketball player Lebron James, live by the words every day.
The Greatest Of All Time – On And Off The Court
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, here’s a quick recap: James, a three-time NBA champion, is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Nicknamed GOAT, Greatest of All Time, he has earned his nickname both on and off the court. Even Michael Jordan is a fan!
James, also nicknamed “the King,” currently plays for the L.A. Lakers, and previously played for both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. Recently, the Ohio native, now valued at just over $440 million, decided to give back to his hometown. This month, James opened the doors of his “I Promise Elementary School” in Akron, OH. 240 at-risk third and fourth graders will begin attending the school next year.
“I Promise:” Putting The Student First
James, like many famous athletes, came from a low-income family. In a recent interview, he recalled how basketball was the only thing that kept him and his family afloat. With this in mind, James decided to change the lives of the children in his hometown by opening a tuition-free school that that will provide free uniforms, lunches, and transportation for those within two miles of the school. Additionally, the school will provide the children with bikes and helmets, and allow their families access to a communal pantry. And all of the children who graduate from the school will receive guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron.
James doesn’t have a background in education, so the school’s curriculum was designed with the help of local county educators who know the students and families. The main goal of the school is to achieve high grades and attendance, while igniting the love of learning in the kids. Overall, the school simply wants to provide an honorable, stable future for students and their families. By 2022, classes are to be expanded through eighth grade, with hundreds of students enrolled.
But the King didn’t stop with the students! Parents of the students will receive access to job placement services and help in acquiring their GED.
Lebron Says, Be Someone Who Cares
James donated millions of his own dollars to the project. In an interview with CNN, he said “we want every kid to walk through this school to be inspired, to come…away with something. Something where they can give back. For kids in general, all they want to know is that someone cares. And when they walk through that door I hope they know that someone cares.”
In the past few years, the King has increasingly been outspoken about a myriad of social issues. Mainly, he has spoken out against racism and poverty, both of which he experienced first hand. He said the school was not only an opportunity to give back, but also to make the changes he wants to see in the world. Hopefully, the NBA star can inspire many children to do just that!