LeBron James - Developing Communities with the LeBron James Family Foundation

August 17, 2016 - LeBron James 08/17/2016 Views: 16,964

NBA star LeBron James discusses his plea for social activism at the ESPY Awards and talks about expanding educational resources through the LeBron James Family Foundation. (6:06)

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My guest tonight is an NBA star,he's a superstar who plays

for the 2016 championship-winning Cleveland Cavaliers.

Please welcome LeBron James.

Thank you, thank you.

-(cheering, applause continue)-Ow, wow.

Thank you.(laughs)

(cheering, whistling, applause)

-You guys are far too kind.-They love you, man.

Welcome to the show.You are, uh, you are prolific,

you are a legend,you are a future Hall of Famer,

you are everything,

and yet your life doesn'tjust revolve around basketball.

I'm just gonna go straight intothis, 'cause it was probably

one of the most amazing thingsI've seen.

-This is you and some of yourfriends at the ESPYS. -Okay.

Let's use this momentas a call to action

for all professional athletesto educate ourselves,

explore these issues, speak up,use our influence,

and renounce all violence.

And most importantly,go back to our communities,

invest our time, our resources,

help rebuild them,help strengthen them,

help change them.

We all have to do better.

-(applause, cheering)-Powerful words.

Powerful words.

You're an NBA...you're an NBA superstar--

why do you feel you needto say something like that

-in a sports forum?-It just comes natural to me.

And, you know,for me personally, um,

I know where I come from,you know,

growing up in inner cityin Akron... Akron, Ohio,

-I know the challengesthat kids have, and... -Yeah.

and for our society to becomeas great as it should be,

I think it starts fromthe ground up, and it starts

in our communities,our own communities.

Going back into our communities,using our resources,

using our knowledge.

You know, anybody can lend money

or anybodycan go give an appearance,

but I think actually being thereand them seeing you

gives them...it gives the kids hope.

And, uh, you know, withoutthe kids we have no future.

So it just comes naturally to me

and I understandwhat they go through.

-I walk the same, uh,streets as them, -Yeah.

I breathe the same airas those kids,

I know what they go through,you know,

growing up in tough situations,

so I think it'svery important for all of us.

You-you, uh... you gotinto Wheels for Education.

-I mean, that was reallyyour-your first foray -Yeah.

into this i-independently.

You-you didn't have a way to getto school when you were a kid.

-No.-You struggled getting to school

and so you started a programto help kids out.

-And now you startwith third graders. -Yeah.

Why third graders specifically?

Well, um, between myselfa-a-and my office,

and everyone at my foundation,there was... we read up on it.

A-And the statistics showedthat, um, if kids get behind

in the third grade,then it's the least amount

of chance for themto graduate high school.

-Yeah. -And-and so that's whywe started in third grade.

And yesterday was my, uh,

LeBron James Family Foundationreunion,

where we welcome anotherthird grade class into our...

into our, um, program.

-And this is our sixth year now,so... -Wow.

-Uh, a-and... uh, thank you.-(cheers and applause)

-Wow.-This is our sixth year.

And it-it was unbelievable.

Uh... if-if anybodyhas ever come to Ohio

and been to Sandusky, Ohioand been to the great

Cedar Point amusement park.

-Yeah. -I brought 5,000families yesterday...

-Wow. -...uh, to the amusementpark for our... for our reunion.

-Wow.-(cheers and applause)

I... I think it's fascinatingthat you say, "Get involved."

-Yeah.-And actively get involved,

because you do somethingthat is honestly the meanest

and most amazing thing ever.

-You record messages for thesekids to inspire them. -(laughs)

So... so for-for thosewho don't know, LeBron James

records messages and sends themout to these kids,

so if they're not, like,at school, then you'll get

a message from LeBron James.


Do you not understandhow heartbreaking that is?

Like, does it...what do you say?

What do you say in the call?

Uh, well, if you don't...if you miss school, uh,

they will get a phone call.

I'll say, "Hey, listen,

"you are very importantto the classroom,

"and you're very importantto your friends and your family.

We need you in school."

If you're not doing well inschool, I'll say, "Well, listen.

"We need you to read the books.

"We need you to stayin the classroom

and listen to your teachers."

And there's also times,because I know kids,

they would try to get slickand try to miss

a couple days of school to...

'Cause they want the messagefrom LeBron James.

'Cause they wantthe message from LeBron James.


So, I'll show up at the school

on 'em and be like, "Listen.

"I know whatyou're trying, now.

I was a kid at one point, too."

-So I would stay on 'em.-This is... this is, like,

the best guidance-guidancecounselor in life, ever.


"You better stop messing around.

LeBron James is gonna show upand..."

That's just so...

i-it's-it's-it'sa beautiful story.

You-you... you're also,um, helping these kids,

not just in third grade,but you're trying to get

-everyone through, into acollege education. -Yeah, yeah.

We... it's funnybecause I-I partnered

with the University of Akron,

uh, a few years back, and, um...i-i-if our kids...

and-and the criteriais-is very attainable.

-Yeah. -If our kids canget from the third grade

and graduate throughhigh school, then there...

there's a college scholarshipwaiting on them.

-It's-it's... it is a full ridejust waiting on them. -Wow.

(cheers and applause)

I, uh...

I have a hunch...

I have a hunchthat you do that.

Is-is-is-is that part ofthe guilt, maybe, that you have

-because, uh...-(James laughs)

No, I mean, that there'sprobably kids out there

that've come up to you and gone,"Hey, LeBron, uh, I was gonna go

"straight from high schoolto the NBA,

but you shut that down, so...now I got to go to college."

Is that why you did it?

Well, I-I've had kids say,"Well-well, Mr. James,

"um, you want usto go to college,

but I read something about you.You didn't go."


"And I thought it was practicewhat you preach."

And I was like,"Well, you know, back then,

"when I had an opportunity,I was a lot older than you.

"Uh, college... college...

They didn't have collegewhen I came out of high school."


After the break,chatting more to LeBron James,

not just about his workin the community, but, uh,

his ambitionsto take over the world.

LeBron James when we come back.

(cheers and applause)