The legacy of LeBron just starting

The legacy of LeBron just starting
August 09
00:00 2018

LeBron James has already cemented his place on the Mount Rushmore of all-time greats in the game of basketball.  Now that he has entered into the back end of his career, he seems more focused on making his name off the court just as memorable as it was on it.

Last week, James opened his I Promise school for at-risk youth in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.  While he is not the first athlete to open a school, it is just another feather in his philanthropic cap.  James is only 33 years old, so he has many more to go before his legacy is set in stone.  But it seems he has set the new standard for what the modern day athlete looks like.

James is in a perfect position for his plans on and off of the court.  Growing up, he had the ability to see how Michael Jordan was able to capitalize on his brand better than any other athlete has done before.  Now he gets to learn from Magic Johnson, who has also been tremendously successful in his business moves off of the court.

We have never had an athlete, as popular as James, navigate his career without a blemish.  He has never had a run in with the law, no extra marital affairs, no illegal drug use and no drinking or gambling issues.  He has avoided all of this while being the most popular athlete in the America.

With all of this in his corner, James seems to be headed to heights we have never seen an athlete ascend to.  As much as people may hate James on the court, you can do nothing but tip your hat to what the man has achieved off of it.

LeBron’s school, for instance, will provide free tuition, free uniforms, free bicycle and helmet, free transportation within two miles of the school, free breakfast, lunch and snacks, food pantry for families, GED and job placement services for parents and guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron for every student who graduates.

Even before the school opened, James pledged through his foundation to send 1,100 kids to college, totaling a mind- boggling $41.8 million.  James has also stood up and spoke out against social injustice and the killing of unarmed black men and women by the hands of police officers.

It’s almost like he takes the best from the athletes that have come before him.  He is well on his way to becoming as popular as Muhammad Ali, as marketable as Jordan, as socially conscience as Bill Russell or Kareem Abdul Jabbar, all while arguably being the best player to ever lace up a pair of sneakers.

James seems to have his blueprint already laid out as to how he wants the next 10 or 15 years to go.  Being out in Los Angeles allows him to be front and center with all of movers and shakers of the entertainment world.

It is refreshing to see athletes invest in the lives of the next generation on this magnitude.  James is making a new standard for what the athlete of tomorrow is going to have to live up to. 

James has made it clear that it is no longer good enough for high profile athletes to just start a foundation.  They instead must put their money into tangible things that will impact the lives of America’s youth, especially when it comes to education.

Forsyth County youth would benefit greatly from one of the athletic greats starting a primary school focusing on at-risk youth.  With as many failing schools we have in the county, an athlete may have more of a lasting impression than traditional school faculty.  Just food for thought.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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