LeBron James' status as the greatest basketball player of all time might still be up for debate (especially among those who count rings), but he's already one of the most important ones in our book after his latest accomplishment.
The three-time NBA champion, four-time Most Valuable Player and 14-time All-Star recently opened the I Promise School for at-risk kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. With the help of the LeBron James Family Foundation, 240 students in Grades 3 and 4 were given the chance at proper education in the state-of-the-art facility.
LeBron, the same man who missed 80 days of school in the fourth grade and paid for more than 1,000 kids to go to college, called his initiative "one of the greatest moments, if not the greatest, of my life," and it's not hard to see why:
"Growing up in the inner-city, the numbers are always stacked against you. So you didn't really know what was possible," the Los Angeles Lakers superstar was quoted by ABC. "I think what happened for me is I got some mentors and little league coaches and teachers that I started to believe in, and they started to make me feel like my dreams could actually become a reality."
In a report by SB Nation, the I Promise School is described as not your ordinary academic hub. Aside from establishing an "accelerated learning" system, the public institution also offers services that address off-campus distractions like a job placement assistance" and an "on-site food bank" for parents. Free tuition at the University of Akron awaits those who complete the program.
LeBron's NBA peers applauded the philanthropist for the #BiggerThanBasketball move:
What makes this charitable effort more impressive is how the King keeps on giving back to the community, despite having a tough childhood—he grew up without a father and moved from one home to another. Name a better role model from the NBA, we'll wait.