- LeBron James is headed for Los Angeles, but his legacy in Ohio will live on.
- The LeBron James Family Foundation has opened a new elementary school in Akron, Ohio.
- James is part of an elite club of athletes who have used their celebrity and money to pay it forward.
After 15 seasons of schooling other teams in the NBA, LeBron James is now helping students at the I Promise School, a new elementary school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. The school is made possible by Akron Public Schools and The LeBron James Family Foundation, the basketball phenom’s nonprofit, which was established just before James entered the NBA draft — well before he won championships, launched league rivalries and achieved GOAT status.
In advance of the school opening to students on July 29, 2018, several stakeholders — and related funds — are credited with making the first day of school possible. By the numbers, I Promise School has already received:
- $2.9 million from Akron Public Schools’ general fund to cover most salaries at the school, plus benefits, supplies and other base elements.
- More than $2 million from the foundation and its partners for the school’s physical transformation, technology, additional staffing, and more.
- $2.5 million over five years from Peg’s Foundation, a community partner, primarily for wraparound support services.
By 2023, the school is estimated to cost the district a cumulative total of $8.1 million.
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The jitters before the first day of school are real right now!!! Tomorrow is going to be one of the greatest moments (if not the greatest) of my life when we open the #IPROMISE School. This skinny kid from Akron who missed 83 days of school in the 4th grade had big dreams… https://t.co/PwmRaHRfng
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 29, 2018
While James is feeling “the jitters before the first day of school,” one of his on-court adversaries, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, tweeted in support of the school.
How LeBron James Invests His Incredible Wealth
James’ current net worth is $440 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. James’ wealth comes from his salary from the NBA as well as lucrative endorsement deals and savvy investments ranging from sports to retail.
James is bona fide sports star, but he’s also a sports fan and investor. In 2011, James became an investor in English soccer club Liverpool FC.
In 2012, he became a founding investor in Blaze Pizza, a fast-casual pizza chain. James’ exact stake wasn’t disclosed, but ESPN reported in 2015 on his ownership of more than 10 percent of the company at the time.
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James’ investments reach into media as well. He is the founder of Uninterrupted, a digital media company dedicated to sports and sports fans.
“King James” also has a retail jewel in his investment portfolio. Unknwn, a footwear and clothing retailer, has been open since 2011. James has signed a lease to open a flagship of Unknwn, Miami New Times reported in May 2018. He also previously cashed out of stakes in Cannondale and Beats by Dre, according to ESPN.
LeBron, Magic and Other NBA Stars Who Invest in Education
James is in an elite club of basketball stars who have turned their philanthropic efforts toward education.
Magic Johnson, NBA legend and now president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, has opened Bridgescape centers to serve at-risk students.
In 2011, Jalen Rose, the former NBA player turned sports broadcaster, opened the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, an open-enrollment, tuition-free, public charter high school in Detroit that supports students all the way through college graduation.
Former NBA all-star and former Sacramento, Calif., mayor Kevin Johnson created an after-school program in 1989 called St. HOPE Academy in Sacramento. What started out as an after-school program has become St. HOPE Public Schools and serves students in transitional kindergarten through high school.
Click to read more about LeBron James and 14 other celebs who donate millions to charity.
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