Greatest Accomplishment Yet

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Greatest Accomplishment Yet

LeBron’s New “I Promise” School May Be Greatest Accomplishment Yet

LeBron James is in a stratosphere of his own.

He is no longer just a great basketball player – he is an entrepreneur, a business mind, a philanthropist, a mogul – above all, he is his own brand.

Unlike most sports, basketball players seem to be more driven to create their own brands, to expand their horizons outside of basketball. We see it with stars like Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, and Stephen Curry, but no one has reached new heights in sporting history as did James himself. You don’t have to be a fan of basketball to recognize his name anymore – he has became bigger than the game himself. His greatness on the court combined with not only his intelligence, but the desire to be remembered for more than just a basketball player has taken James into a league of his own.

This has all led LeBron to his great accomplishment to yet – an accomplishment surpassing all of his individual and team accolades. Earlier this week, James celebrated the announcement of his I Promise School- an institution for under-priviledged children from his home town of Akron, Ohio – upcoming grand opening.

The public school will hold 240 students, specifically third- and fourth- graders, who have been “identified by Akron Public Schools as behind in critical academic areas and other factors.” Along with the free tuition that the school will provide, James will also provide kids with food, transportation, as well as guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron for each student who graduates from high school. The school will also provide GEDs and job placement services for parents.

“My mom didn’t have a car and we didn’t have stability day-to-day where I didn’t know where I’d be living,” James said. “So there was no way I could even get there. It was a surprise to me when I woke up and I was actually going to school.”

Being raised in a fatherless home in the lower-class neighbourhoods of Ohio, James has witnessed the struggles associated with poverty, drug use, and gang violence. With this school, James will take in 240 kids and help get them on the right path in order to provide the next generation a better future.

“When people ask me, ‘Why a school?’ that’s part of the reason why,” James explained. “Because I know exactly what these 240 kids are going through. I know the streets that they walk. I know the trials and tribulations that they go through. I know the ups, the downs.

“I know everything that they dream about. I know all the nightmares that they have, because I’ve been there. I know exactly what they’re going through.”

The school is set to boast a 20-to-1 student-teacher ratio and will promote year-round programming, including 9-to-5 school days for the children. Along with the free transportation that the kids who live within two miles of the school will receive, each child attending the I Promise School will be given a free bicycle – something that James credits for keeping him out of trouble while he was a teen.

“A lot of the gratitude goes to our hometown hero, LeBron James,” Akron mayor Daniel Horrigan said. “I can think of no better gift that LeBron can give to the next generation of Akron than a solid education, a supportive network of teachers and mentors.”

The school is expected to open in September and James hopes to see quick expansion. The school will hold second and fifth graders by next year, and hopes to have grades one through eight by 2022.

The much-anticipated announcement was met with a flood of appreciation and praise from professional athlete across all sports, members of the media, and celebrities alike. Once again proving that he is more than just an athlete, James’ strive for greatness doesn’t only end on the floor. Accolades, awards, and countless recognitions aside, this will be one of LeBron’s career-defining moment.

“No matter if I’m playing in Los Angeles or not, Akron, Ohio, is always home for me,” he said. “Always.”

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