LeBron James reveals his I Promise School in Akron, Ohio.
There is no doubt about what LeBron James can do with a basketball in his hand – racking up NBA championships and MVP accolades over the years, but it is off the court where he experienced what he described as the most significant moment of his career.
Before heading out to the West, where James will play for the Los Angeles Lakers and help to bring the legendary franchise back to their former Showtime glory, the former Cleveland Cavalier unveiled Monday is a public school for young people to be challenged in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
“The jitters for the first day of school are real now!!! Tomorrow is going to be one of the greatest moments (if not the biggest) of my life,” James tweeted before the opening of the I Promise School.
A dream come true for LeBron James and his foundation: I Promise School for underprivileged students in Akron opens today with a plan to change lives of pupils and parents:https://t.co/fxTrCaueBM pic.twitter.com/D27di415k8
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) July 30, 2018
The school will welcome 240 third – and fourth-graders, while adding the second and the fifth grade the following year before the end, the students from classes 1 to 8 by 2022. Meals will be provided for the pupils, and the school, the hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to ESPN. Each student also receives their own bicycle and helmet.
James, who missed 83 days of school when he was in the fourth grade, told ESPN he wants to “to create an environment of the family and not as a workplace.”
“Sometimes you can be tired if you look at it as work-you kind of get tired of. We want to create an environment of a family where you always want to be around your family,” he said.
Monday the grand opening was also “bittersweet” as James reflected on the fact, that he was leaving Cleveland to move to California.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet moment now, sitting here in my school that I’m opening around these children, around this community, and then at the same time, making a switch to the other coast, a part of the Lakers now,” said James.
James, who spent 11 seasons with the Cavaliers, and fulfilled his promise to a NBA title to Cleveland, was intrigued with the opportunity to play for one of the league’s most storied programs, and the opportunity to work with Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, the Lakers’ president and an player James adored since he was a child.
While on the pride of the I Promise School, James also made his first public comments about his decision to head out West.
“I did my due diligence after the season about the pros and cons on a lot of different teams, including the Cavs and including Philadelphia, including Houston and Los Angeles,” said James. “So it was not as fast as it seems. It was just not 9 July as it was before. So after a conversation with my family, more than anyone, I had the feeling that this is the next step in my journey.”
LeBron spoke about what teams he is considered to be in the free agency and why he chose the Lakers to media in Cleveland. He doesn’t know what it will lead, but he expects that the Lakers have “championship habits.” pic.twitter.com/7mP8abfMmI
— TV ‘ s Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) July 30, 2018
James is a member of a Lakers team with a young core of talented players, but James is now in the same division as the juggernaut Golden State Warriors as he looks to continue his streak of eight straight appearances in the NBA Finals.
Hollywood could also represent James next chapter after basketball, if he already had a film production company in the city.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Benjamin Brown is a reporter from Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bdbrown473.