LeBron James’ new I Promise School, funded by the LeBron James Family Foundation, opened its doors in Akron on Monday. The school will serve low-income and at-risk students through extensive programming made possible by James’ resources. I Promise is a regular public school, showing that James did not want his institution to be treated differently than other Akron schools. This latest act cements James’ legacy as one of the greatest philanthropists in professional sports.
NYU Washington Square News: Brendan Duggan thinks the “NBA leads the way in social justice.”
• “Of the four major sports organizations in the United States… the NBA stands out as the most influential league within communities.”
• “NBA players themselves take the extra step off the court and personally assist their communities, many of them having their own individual foundations that work with problems in their local cities.”
• “LeBron’s legacy not only lies with his three NBA Finals MVP trophies, but emanates from his positive influence on today’s youth.”
Johns Hopkins News-Letter: Matthew Ritchie believes that “superstars such as LeBron… have made monumental impacts off the court through charitable donations.”
• “The LeBron James Family Foundation has changed the future for countless students at Akron High School.”
• “He has been at the forefront of activism and philanthropy for the majority of his career. His focus on the ideals of social justice and equality have spurred a revival in political activism and charitable actions across the NBA.”
• “He has spearheaded the recent movement by NBA athletes to put more resources into their communities.”
The Bottom Line:
LeBron James had a long history of giving before building I Promise. The school is, however, his most comprehensive and ambitious undertaking to date. Even as he departs Cleveland to begin the 2018-19 season as a Los Angeles Laker, James continues to make a positive impact in his hometown and beyond.