The most momentous accomplishment LeBron James has on his resume is not on the basketball court or on the TV screens. It is not winning one for the land. Nor is is moving to LA to play for the Lakers.
No his biggest accomplishment was a promise.
I Promise to be exact
I remember the first time I saw an “I promise” wristband.
It was during the 2012 NBA finals. LeBron James was wearing one while playing against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was when I first started to become a true fan of the player and the man that was LeBron James. He sat down during a timeout, and just before the camera panned away, I saw it. The wristband, with the words ” I Promise” written on them. In that instant I wondered what it was for. Was it to prove his doubters wrong? Was it to win a championship? Was it to be the greatest basketball player ever?
These could all be true.
However today, On July 30th 2018 I learned what “I Promise” truly meant. I’m a firm believer we all did.
Today marks the opening of the opening of the “I Promise school” for children at risk in Akron Ohio.
It is a school designed for children at risk of failing in the public school system. Much like LeBron was in his youth.
” A kid who missed 83 days of school in the 4th grade” LeBron Tweeted yesterday.
The school will host 240 children from apparently 1st grade to 8th grade who meet the standards of the school. These are, but are not limited to things in the field of poor academic performance and poor attendance.
It is designed to create specific aid to students to get them through the rigors of the public school system. It is a reflection the challenges LeBron James and his mother conquered in his youth. Being poor, moving from place to place constantly.
These are the fruits of the seed that was watered and allowed to grow. The kid from Akron gave back to his home in the best way possible. By creating a garden and watering the young seedlings that don’t get enough water and sunshine to grow. On top of that, the school provides opportunities for parents of the children to work in the school and has GED programs and funding for the parents.
I don’t have all the details. However I have read that in a few prominent news posts. The links will be provided on the bottom of this post for more details.
The king is taking care of his castle. On top of a well established state of the art building the students are provided with for schooling, the main hallway provides one of the most brilliant and epic displays any child would wish to see.
A shoe shelf with 114 of Lebron’s game work shoes on display.
It is also reported that these shoes, or one of each pair will be auctioned off to fund the school while the other will be displayed along with the buyers name and other writings about them.
This is brilliant in two fold. Not only does the buyer get to have a stamp on the school revealing to the children how many people care about them and have funded the school by purchasing a shoe. But also the students get to see a game worn shoe by LeBron James, who is a figure almost larger than life at this moment.
The significance in this breeds motivation. To use your shoes as a means to fund a school, to reveal to kids the hard work you displayed over your career, to show to children a piece of your battle scars in order to propel them to be better themselves. And to have it accessible so easily is important. And the display of them.
What a visual. The shoes are displayed in almost mural form with I promise all around them. A brilliant idea LeBron.
The school will begin early and start late, students who finish the program will gain free tuition to the University of Akron. A bonus incentive. This display is a promise beyond belief. This was the Promise. It wasn’t to be a champion, it wasn’t to be the greatest. It was to be a symbol. Not an icon, a symbol. A beacon of hope. To people struggling .
To children without hope.
To people across the globe to know a kid from Akron who built himself from the bottom, and created an empire that gave.
This is a promise kept.
This is LeBron James.