Less than three months after hein his hometown of Akron, Ohio, LeBron James has been named the winner of the NBA Cares Offseason Community Assist Award.
Issued annually since 2001 and as an offseason honor since 2017, the award is a staple of NBA Cares, the league's community-service program, and pays respect to a player who best demonstrates "exceptional work" off the court.
This year, that player was James.
"Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring James for his commitment to creating long-term, generational change throughout Northeast Ohio by providing both youth and their parents with year-round educational and wellness resources," NBA Cares announced Thursday. "James and the LeBron James Family Foundation opened the I Promise School on July 30 and welcomed its first class of more than 240 third- and fourth-grade students."
.@Lakers @KingJames receives Offseason #NBACares Community Assist Award presented by @kpshare in recognition of his efforts to create the @IPROMISESchool & provide lasting educational resources for youth & families in his hometown of Akron.— NBA Cares (@nbacares) October 25, 2018
Learn more: https://t.co/8wapaxl534 pic.twitter.com/QAr6hcPtrA
James, who spent nine of the first 13 years of his NBA career in Ohio, said on July 30 that opening the school, which also offers free tuition to the University of Akron for every student who graduates, was "one of the greatest moments of my life." Since then, he'sfor the school and its targeted at-risk children.
"To be able to create a place where they're excited about going to school and where they feel safe and supported -- that changes everything for them," James said, per NBA cares. "And for my foundation, this is just the beginning for the I Promise School. We're still building and will continue to do everything we can to help these families with the challenges they face every day."
As part of the NBA Cares Offseason Community Assist Award, the NBA and Kaiser Permanente will also donate $10,000 on James' behalf to the LeBron James Family Foundation. Kathy Behrens, the NBA's president of social responsibility and player programs, will be on hand at the Los Angeles Lakers' game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night to present James the award on the court.