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Jul 18

LeBron James Proves Nothing Looks Better Than Giving Back

Photo: Getty Images

LeBron James does more than play basketball. Though he’s renowned for his skill on the court, James’s other endeavors—acting, producing, hosting, and more—keep him in the public eye full time. Despite all that, his latest project still came as a welcome surprise. After years of offering students scholarships via his LeBron James Family Foundation, the athlete took things one step further yesterday with the launch of the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

To commemorate the moment James chose a look with winning style, a suit from one of his favorite designers, Thom Browne. The fitted silhouette and slate color palette that comprised James’s wardrobe during the playoffs made a dapper return, but he eschewed shorts and oxfords in favor of a pair of cropped pants and black sneakers. The look, which has become something of a uniform for James, was sleek and ideal for addressing the crowd gathered at the school’s opening.

If James looked upbeat as he posed with students and addressed reporters, there’s good reason. The school was cofounded with the city’s public school system and will provide a unique opportunity for the 240 third and fourth graders that comprise its inaugural class. With hands on learning, after-school programs, and a full college scholarship provided to each pupil, it will open doors for some of the city’s most in need children.

Speaking with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, James underscored the importance of reaching out to kids and shared what made the project personal for him. As a child who missed more than 80 days of school during the year before he met his mentors, he wanted to provide more than a standard education. “No kid at 8 or 9 should have stress,” said James. “[At that age] I was going to a school on the other side of town and there was no way I could even get to school to participate—but any time I would show up to school the teachers would always tell my mom that when he shows up he’s one of the best students that we have we just hope that he could show up more. We just couldn’t do it at that point in time, so I know exactly what some of these kids are going through.”

With plans to expand the school yearly, opening doors to grades 1 through 9 by 2022, James is only just beginning, but his momentous project is already off to an incredible start.


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