Aug. 23, 2016
LeBron Building A Championship Legacy On And Off The Court
Almost every day during the last NBA season, I saw something on social media about people hating LeBron James. If you’re one of those people, here’s a reason to change your mind.
At an event hosted by the LeBron James Family Foundation last week in Sandusky, Ohio, James welcomed more than 5,000 kids and their families to a local amusement park for a fun-filled day as part of the initiation for new members of his ‘I Promise’ campaign. The program, now in its sixth year, starts with third grade students and follows them through their educational careers to ensure that they remain on the right track.
If a student in the program starts missing class, or acting up in school, they might even get a personal call from LeBron James.
"Just using our resources, using our strength, using everything that we've been able to do to just build up these communities," explained the superstar NBA champ, while addressing the crowd. "That's why I'm excited to be up here right now, because with the help of my foundation and with the help of everyone that gives us so much leeway to do what we want to do, we're able to do that and give back to these young kids because we all know that they're our future.”
Not only does the program support these kids while they’re in grade school, but LeBron has partnered with the University of Akron to provide 2,300 FULL four-year scholarships to students who complete his program.
The amount of care LeBron James shows for his community goes unmatched by that of any other professional athlete I’ve come across in my lifetime. He’s absolutely right; the kids are our future. And giving children in underserved communities, which are also largely communities of color, opportunities to succeed in life is the best way of investing in that future. In an interview with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, James said that he knows the challenges kids growing up in inner cities face because he’s faced them himself. He went on to say that growing our society “starts from the bottom, up”, meaning that we must show every child the love and care they need to grow up into productive adults.
If you want to hate LeBron James for his style of play, fine. I would argue that you can’t really hate on the (second) greatest of all time, but you’re entitled to your opinion. But I haven’t found a single reason to hate him as a person. On-the-court and off-the-court, Lebron is one of the single most complete basketball stars the NBA has ever seen and anyone would be foolish not to acknowledge that.