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NBA superstar LeBron James is continuing to make an impact both on and off the court.
In addition to helping send local kids to college through his LeBron James Family Foundation, the Cleveland Cavaliers player is now planning to open an I Promise School in the fall for third and fourth graders in the Akron Public School System. It was approved by the Akron School Board last week.
In a pre-game interview, James explained to Cleveland.com reporters how his new school will be one of the most important things he’s done in his life and career.
"Besides having three kids and marrying my wife, putting my mom in a position where she never has to worry about anything ever again for the rest of her life, this is right up there,” the 32-year-old said. “Championships, MVPs, I mean, points, rebounds and assists, that stuff is, whatever."
LeBron says the school he's opening in Akron is the most important thing he's done as a professional. pic.twitter.com/OvPZAvJTFk— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 30, 2017
Since 2010, James has used his foundation to help improve the educational opportunities and graduation rates of at-risk youth in Akron. Through the foundation, his wife, Savannah James, has also used her influence to send underprivileged girls to prom with her annual I PROMise event.
Reflecting on his own upbringing, James explains how the ability to open a school in his hometown is very personal to him.
"I walked those streets and it was just like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to be able to get out of this situation.’ I just thought about that every day. I had dreams and I had mentors and they allowed my dreams to become who I am today," he said.
While he's regarded as one of the best basketball players of today’s generation, James makes it clear that none of those accolades compare to his philanthropic work.
"The basketball thing, I love it and I enjoy it, but to give back and be able to open up a school, that’s something that will last beyond my years."