LeBron James has never been shy about his ambitions off the hardwood. Now, the uninhibited activist, generous philanthropist, and benefactor several times over is adding another off-court accolade to his résumé: school founder.
James — who also happens to be a three-time NBA champion, 14-time All-Star, and potentially the best to ever lace 'em up — is opening his I Promise School on Monday in Akron, Ohio, his hometown. The school is a fully public, non-charter institution funded mostly by James' charity, the LeBron James Family Foundation. James worked alongside the public schools system in Akron to make sure the school met all the necessary regulations, Sports Illustrated reports. I Promise will serve only third- and fourth-graders at its inception — students the same age as James was when he missed 83 days of school due to family instability.
The inaugural 240 students were compiled at random, selected from a pool of Akron students whose reading skills lagged behind their peers. I Promise aims specifically to provide a more comprehensive experience, giving each student a bicycle so they can travel safely around the neighborhood, offering a "trauma-based curriculum" that is prepared to help kids deal with family problems, and operating nearly year-round to eliminate the huge blocks of free time when undersupervised children can get into trouble, the Los Angeles Times reports.
James, who was on hand for the first day of school Monday, wrote on Twitter that unveiling I Promise would be "one of the greatest moments (if not the greatest) of my life." Watch him talk about what the school means to him in an Uninterrupted clip here, or catch a glimpse of the classrooms below, via Cleveland's local NBC affiliate WKYC. Kimberly Alters