Love him or hate him – but don’t deny his skill on the court.
After leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a startling comeback against the favorited former-champion Golden State Warriors – and giving down-on-its-luck Cleveland a much needed pro championship after more than half a century of disappointment – LeBron James has pledged $87 million for kids from his hometown of Akron to attend college.
The staggering donation is sure to rifle the feathers of sports fans who self-identify as “LeBron haters,” but for the thousands of local Ohio kids who will receive a full ride college education, LeBron is the ultimate hero.
As the New York Post reports, the scholarship program is a partnership with the University of Akron to give full college educations to any child who complete’s LeBron’s “I Promise” campaign – which focuses on fostering educational achievement in impoverished neighborhoods.
The annual tuition is $9,500, so it’s a $38,000 commitment to each student who qualifies. There are currently 1,100 kids in the program, and 1,200 more are expected to be added in the next four years, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Quick math puts the total for 2,300 kids at $38,000 each at just over $87 million.
“It’s the reason I do what I do,” James told reporters while announcing the program Thursday at an event for students at Cedar Point Amusement Park. “These students have big dreams, and I’m happy to do everything I can to help them get there. They’re going to have to earn it, but I’m excited to see what these kids can accomplish knowing that college is in their futures.”
Although specific criteria for the scholarships are still up in the air, LeBron said that students will be excepted to reach a certain grade point average and must graduate from high school.
In the meanwhile, it looks like Ohio kids will have more to look forward to than just the possibility of another basketball championship – although Ohio will keep dreaming for that too, of course.
And while creating opportunity in his home community is truly admirable, Ohio is still hoping LeBron can figure out a way to help the Browns out too while he’s at it.
Head over to the New York Post for the full story.