Yesterday, LeBron James proved – once again – that he makes just as big an impact off the court as he does on it.
In a joint announcement with University of Akron president Scott Scarborough, the NBA star said that the LeBron James Foundation and the university would team up to try to put as many as 2,300 students through UA on four-year scholarships.
“These students have big dreams, and I’m happy to do everything I can to help them get there,” James said at the announcement. “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.”
The scholarships will only be granted to students who qualify, though the qualifications have yet to be decided. According to Scarborough, however, there will be grade-point average, attendance, and other standards that students have to meet.
This isn’t first time that James has made major impact on the next generation.
According to Paula Schleis of the Akron Beacon Journal, in each of the last four years, the LeBron James Foundation has selected about 300 third-graders to enter James’ Wheels for Education program. Once they enter middle school, they’re transferred to the foundation’s Akron I PROMISE Network, where they remain through high school. Now, about 1,100 of these kids will be eligible for the four-year scholarship, with about 1,200 additional kids expected to be added in the next four years.
The first group of students will graduate in 2021.
In the meantime, Scarborough said UA will work to raise funds to cover tuition and general fees for this first group of students. If they fail to raise the money (and hopefully this won’t happen), they will at least prioritize these students for their financial-aid program.
After all, sending 1,100 kids to an American university isn’t cheap.
Scarborough, however, says he’s confident this won’t be the case. And if LeBron James has anything to do with it, we have a feeling it won’t be either.