As we all know, the NBA Finals are in full gear right now. The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are locked in a classic series, as both teams battle to win another NBA Championship. While the whole world is focused on the play of the superstars on the court, I want to focus on some of the things one player, Dwyane Wade, is doing off the court to make a difference in communities across America.
Every year the NBA gives out the Community Assist Award. The award honors the NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities. Dwyane Wade took home award for the 2012-2013 season, in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and his ongoing charitable work. Wade’s passion is felt throughout the whole entire NBA. Players, coaches, and owners are inspired by Dwyane’s heartfelt efforts to make a difference in the lives of kids all over the nation.
In 2003, Wade founded the Wade’s World Foundation. The foundation is known for its support with literacy, health, and fatherhood primarily in less fortunate communities around the Chicago, Milwaukee, and South Florida areas. Wade’s vision to help others began at the age of 7. When normal kids were worried about toys, and having fun, Wade was concerned about the health of his surrounding communities.
Wade was inspired by news articles that featured celebrities visiting schools to read stories and offer words of encouragement to students. Wade wanted to be that person who brought smiles to those kids faces. Wade vowed that if he ever become successful, he would become a positive figure for kids to look up to. After years of hard work, dedication, and practice, Wade is that person that kids look up to.
In December of 2008, a Florida woman’s nephew accidentally burned down the family home. Wade heard of the incident and reached out to the family by purchasing them a new home, including furniture, and clothing. In September of 2009, Wade donated $25,000 to keep a Robbins, Illinois public library from shutting down.
Wade deemed the contribution as “small” and mentioned that he was not always able to help others, instead he was the one who needed the help then. Now that he had the opportunity to make a difference, he would always be there to lend a hand to those in need.
In 2010, Wade’s biggest contribution came when he joined former teammate, Alonzo Mourning’s efforts to raise money for the victims of the destructive earthquake in Haiti. In just a few days, over $800,000 was raised with the help of fellow athletes and friends.
No matter what happens in the NBA Finals, whether Wade wins another championship or not, he will still be a role model, and leader for kids all over the world. No championship ring can compare to the feeling of being there for people who need it the most. For Dwyane, basketball will always come second to helping people.
Wade knows what it’s like to not have anyone to look up to. He also knows the feeling of not being able to eat some nights, and he’ll go to extreme measures to keep as many kids as he can from becoming familiar with some of things he became familiar with as a child. Wade’s mission is far from over, but he’s already made a big difference in the lives of hundreds of families.
Wade’s World Foundation Website – http://www.wadesworldfoundation.org/
Who Listens When You Lack Power and Privilege?
How do we differentiate who we are from what we are? Do titles really define who we are or what we think about people? Do we not care about who they are as a person; their morals, values, and stances?
We are asked as children what we want to be when we grow up, which is often answered by a title – a police officer, teacher, a professional athlete. We don’t get asked who we want to be, or what we want to be known for.
We often assign respect and obedience to certain titles without thinking the expectations we have of someone who holds it. Some may exceed expectations, and others may not be close to meeting them. But, what do we do when we learn who they are as a person and not the title they hold?
A professional football player kneeled during the national anthem because police officers were not meeting the expectations society has relayed on them. But rather than join his efforts in holding them accountable for their deadly actions, he lost his job for getting involved in something that isn’t part of his job description.
Collin Kaepernick’s job is to be a quarterback and not protest injustices which is what some of his critics say. He showed us who he is as a person, what he stands for, and what he believes in. In return, he is villainized and no longer is he considered a good football player, but has been rebranded as a troublemaker. Is that fair?
Power and privilege are two concepts that most people strive to obtain, but some may never achieve it. These two things are primarily held in the hands of white men in America. Minorities lack the social status to have powerful messages heard and understood by White America which often leads to relying on our white counterparts to understand our situation in order for something to get done.
Collin Kaepernick had a platform at his disposal which was the NFL. He used his stage in hopes of giving a voice to an issue troubling his community because this was something “white America” isn’t experiencing, nor could they understand the lived fear people of color have of the police.
Because this was something the majority did not understand, Kaepernick’s behavior was too radical for unaffected to be willing to listen and pay attention to the real issue, police brutality. Kneeling during the flag and national anthem was not about disrespecting the flag or national anthem. His kneeling was to bring attention to an epidemic faced by a particular group of Americans.
When we often hold positions of power, we expect others to listen to us and conform to our desires. When something is not presented how we like it, we are less likely to value that person and what they believe.
One of the core values of the social work profession is the dignity and worth of the person. Acknowledging the reality that not everyone will be affected the same. The willingness to listen to others when they’re trying to tell their story can go as far as saving someone’s life.
If the reasoning for Kaepernick’s kneeling had been met with empathy when he shared why he was kneeling, the issue of police brutality would have remained the center of the issue instead of NFL players being called “sons of bitches” by the President of the United States because he doesn’t like them kneeling.
If the people in power, the NFL stakeholders, the President of the United States, and other officials who can hold law enforcement accountable, cared as much about issues like police brutality as they did about football players kneeling, American lives could literally be saved.
Unfortunately, when minorities with no standing and power in America try to bring awareness to social issues where minorities are also the victims, no one seems willing to listen or do anything about it.
Colin Kaepernick and How Self Care Must Go Pro
For years, permanently injured players have been left to figure out how they will financially support their families and how they will carry on with their lives after committing years to football. Currently, the NFL is settling numerous lawsuits from former players who claim that their disabilities resulted from injuries on the field. But that’s not the only controversy stirring in the NFL.
In Fall of 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem. At the time, many believed the media would quickly move on to another more trendy story. Afterall, he wasn’t chanting or picketing. He was simply kneeling. But as weeks passed, white anger slowly unveiled itself, and patriotism took the main stage. Critics saw Kaepernick’s quiet gesture as a radical protest. Yet, he still knelt game after game.
Kaepernick proved his physical ability early in his professional career by leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013. At that time the public didn’t know that Kaepernick had a metal rod placed in his left leg prior to his rookie year. Still, he attended and did well in practices. But in 2015, he injured his left shoulder and would later report injuries to his thumb and knee.
Working with such disabilities would prove challenging to most people, particularly for professional athletes who are required to demonstrate physical grit day after day. When Kaepernick’s scoring record took a hit, questions arose as to whether he was worth his contract. But Kaepernick saw himself as more than just damaged goods. He had something else to offer: a perspective on the value of black lives in America.
By kneeling, Kaepernick demonstrated ownership of his body, a black body that has been endangered for a time that is too long to measure. That is a radical act of self-care. The concept of self-care, for a long time, was viewed as a luxury accessible to an elite few. And, self-care is publicly declaring that your life matters beyond what your performance on the football field.
In a recent interview, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy said he thinks that Kaepernick was released because he’s not a great player, not because he didn’t stand for the anthem. He added that from the perspective of a team owner, Kaepernick isn’t worth the distraction if he can’t play well. However, star quarterbacks Aaron Rogers and Cam Newton came out in support of Kaepernick. Both stated he should be starting in the NFL, but he isn’t due to his protest of the national anthem.
I’d argue that even when athletes play well, there is a general discomfort with them expressing resistance to racism. They usually are told to stick to the game, proving once again that a working, non-resistant black body is most favorable (and profitable) in this society.
The NFL has a longstanding history of utilizing bodies for financial gain, in particular, black bodies. It is a marketplace for bodies. Bodies that can be negotiated and sold and traded in the name of increasing revenue. I hear sports fans say often that certain teams don’t win because the owners ‘don’t want to spend the money’. However, Kaepernick was recently released from his contract, something for which he seemed prepared.
According to the New York Times, NFL players are becoming permanently disabled after suffering head traumas. Those injuries have caused concussions, dementia, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Now, some players’ wives have created at least one space, in the form of a private Facebook group, where they share their experiences and gain strength from each other as they become caregivers and advocates for men who once were larger than life. I believe that this generation of athletes will begin to demand more than money for play. They will demand the right to safety and self-care, and they will begin to plan for their legacies and quality of life off the field.
Athletes are human and imperfect. For many, they are heroes which must be a compliment, but it must also be a lot of pressure. This next generation of athletes will need to employ a high degree of self-care if they want to have a productive career and higher quality life after retirement.
Athletes inspire us because of their consistency and their unmatched desire to win. I’ve never met an athlete who thought second place was good enough. They want to be the best. Their drive is a metaphor for how many of us want to live our best lives.
Super Bowl Champ Roland Williams Mentors Kids to Eat More Veggies on Meatless Monday
NEW YORK — For Super Bowl champ Roland Williams aka Big Ro (Super Bowl XXXIV champ St. Louis Rams over Tennessee Titans in 2000), inspiring disadvantaged children to move from fast food to plant food is a labor of love. Roland, a graduate of Syracuse University, founded The Champion Academy, an innovative mentoring program for at-risk middle and high school students in greater Rochester, NY. Roland is an advocate for Meatless Monday.
Meatless Monday encourages the public to cut back on meat consumption one day a week to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, and lessen the environmental impact of meat production on climate change, water and land use.
The campaign is founded on research that demonstrates Monday is the day we are most primed to start and sustain a healthy new behavior. Since its launch 13 years ago, Meatless Monday has become an international movement in more than 40 countries with support from governments, schools, celebrities, restaurants, and local and global organizations around the world.
Roland wrote this open letter to encourage everyone to be a team player after Super Bowl Sunday by participating in Meatless Monday, a global movement to find innovative ways to make meatless and vegetarian dishes part of our everyday culture, customs and cuisine.
“Super Monday”: The New Best Way to Celebrate The Big Game
By Roland Williams, NFL Super Bowl Champion
As we draw one day closer to Super Bowl LI, I can’t help but to smile.
This past NFL season has been such a joy to watch. All the unexpected twists and turns. The re-emergence of the Cowboys and Raiders. The high-powered Falcon offense. The grit and determination of the Patriots. I even enjoyed watching the massive disappointments of 2016. As I type this letter, I’m still scratching my head about the Cardinals, Bengals, Broncos and Panthers this season.
But now, we are on to the main event.
The entire NFL season comes down to two teams. As a true fan of football, it doesn’t even matter that I have no vested interest in either team winning this year. Yep, it doesn’t get any better than this. I can’t wait to enjoy the entire day from the pregame to post-game confetti.
But this year, when the game is over and I’ve seen my fair share of post-game coverage, I am asking that you join me in two of the biggest games of them all; your health and our environment.
On Monday after the big game, be a team player by participating in Meatless Monday, a global movement to find innovative ways to make meatless and vegetarian dishes part of our everyday culture, customs and cuisine. For those unaware, it has been scientifically proven that skipping meat at least one day a week is beneficial for our health and the environment.
This past year, I’ve been doing it weekly with my three young sons and they love it! Then a few months ago, I went crazy. I joined forces with Celebrity Chef Danny Boome and local artist Michelle Cardulla and incorporated Meatless Monday into my favorite charity, http://www.ChampionAcademyRoc.org.
I’m telling you, this is a movement that deserves your attention. If you still need a few reasons why you should add this into your life, take a look at http://www.MeatlessMonday.com. You can thank me later.
Enjoy the game!
NFL Super Bowl Champion
Meatless Monday Supporter
Meatless Monday is a nonprofit public health initiative founded by Sid Lerner, chairman of The Monday Campaigns. The initiative is in association with the Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion at Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse universities.
Four Tips to Help Communities and Churches Battle Human Trafficking
WACO, Texas – Super Bowl festivities in Houston will be in full swing this week as the nation gears up for the NFL’s premier event on Sunday. Thousands of people will pour into the city. Unfortunately, those crowds will include those involved in human trafficking.
“We can expect to see an influx of out-of-town victims and trafficking solicitations during Super Bowl weekend. Much of that will take place online,” said human trafficking expert Elizabeth Goatley, Ph.D., assistant professor in Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.
Goatley said large-scale national events like the Super Bowl draw attention to human trafficking, and it’s an appropriate time to make people aware of the epidemic, which victimizes hundreds of thousands of people within the United States each year. Globally, an estimated 20.9 million people are victims of human trafficking, resulting in a $150 billion industry, according to the International Labour Organization.
“Communities can make a difference in combating human trafficking,” Goatley said, “but it takes knowing your neighbor and your neighborhood and doing for the ‘least of these.’”
She offered the following tips to help communities better understand and combat human trafficking.
1. People must understand that human trafficking includes both sex and labor trafficking.
Human trafficking is the bartering or transactional engagement of a person for sex or labor, through the use of force, fraud or coercion, Goatley explained. Most communities and congregations focus on the “commercialized sex” part of human trafficking and often neglect those who are trapped in labor trafficking.
2. Human trafficking is cultural and contextualized to specific environments.
“When people say, ‘Tell me what human trafficking looks like,’ my response is always to reflect on how those in poverty are surviving in that community,” Goatley said.
In urban areas, she explained, it may look like the commercial sex industry (strip clubs, online ads, local prostitution tracks or brothels) or like day laborers who are financially exploited. It may look like childcare workers who never get days off, no breaks and little pay for labor; or it may look like a teenage runaway who needs food and barters sex for a meal or place to stay and is not allowed to leave.
In rural communities, she said, human trafficking may look like agricultural workers who are refused breaks and payment, or those working in toxic conditions and sweatshops. It may look like a family member bartering sex with a child to pay a bill.
“To best address human trafficking, people must know what’s going on in their communities,” she said.
3. Human trafficking is no respecter of race, gender, class or religion.
“There is no ‘type’ of person that can be lured into human trafficking,” Goatley said.
In a recent column Goatley penned for Ethics Daily, she provided the following examples of those who’ve fallen victim to human trafficking.
“Through my work in trafficking, I’ve heard stories from the 15-year-old competitive swimmer from the elite swimming club who fell for a guy she met on the Internet. When he asked for a meeting at the local mall to “hang out,” she didn’t hesitate. She told her mother that she was meeting friends at the mall, left home and didn’t return,” Goatley wrote.
“I’ve listened to a mother describe the struggle of providing for her family in her native country and the decision she made to sacrifice everything for a chance at a better life in America. She paid a coyote (smuggler) to help her cross into the United States, but upon crossing the coyote refused to let her go without a $10,000 ransom. She was forced to have sex with strangers until her debt was paid,” she wrote.
“I will never forget the story of the migrant worker who ‘followed the crops’ to provide for his family. He worked long hard hours in the fields picking a plethora of fruits and vegetables, pulling tobacco and tending to stables where he wasn’t allowed breaks and paid a dollar and a half a day,” Goatley wrote.
Fortunately, she wrote, all of those stories are of survivors who were assisted by local churches and other human trafficking organizations.
4. Get involved.
“Get to know the needs within your community,” Goatley said.
Is there a local school that needs adopting? Goatley said that research shows that third- and fourth-grade literacy rates have great predicting values on the path of a child’s life.
Is your church located in an immigrant community? Consider offering English as a Second Language courses (ESL), Goatley said. Research shows that immigrants that have better understanding of the English language are less likely to be exploited in the hiring process.
Is your church located within a community that experiences homelessness? Consider adopting a homeless shelter, Goatley said. Research states that runaways, throwaways (children whose families have put them out) and newly homeless persons are at a higher risk for human trafficking within the first 48 hours on the street.
“Additionally, people should pray and support anti-human trafficking organizations and advocate for anti-human trafficking legislation,” Goatley said.
The national hotline number to report any case or suspicion of a case is 1-888-373-7888.
Is Boxing Even Safe?
Society is at a point of conflict where it concerns head injuries and sports. The extent to which head trauma causes permanent damage is well known, however ratings for extreme sports like boxing and football are at an all-time high. Perhaps that is to be expected. The credo of live fast, die young is a glamorous lifestyle that modern media and celebrities promote in action, if not in advice.
Tony Parsons, in a GQ article from 2013, was rather eloquent in making boxing seem like the greatest accomplishment of mankind. Somewhat out of context, he used a Joyce Carol Oates quote to dramatize his point.
In “On Boxing,” Oates compared boxing to writing, saying the two show “the fanatic subordination of the self” in that the end stage, or what the public sees, is the result of a long, arduous process that goes mostly unnoticed. She was implying the punishment we put ourselves through helps achieve the ends we wish for. Oates is certainly a student of boxing, and has written about the sport many times over the years, yet, “subordination” is a term of degradation and Oates views on boxing include referring to it as the cruelest sport.
Parsons used the term subordination in a better light, as if to mean raising yourself to higher standards. He said that boxing would make you “infinitely fitter than you ever have been in your life.” In other words, in order to box, one must have a high level of physical fitness. He stretches this to mean that boxing is good for the soul and directly states that “boxing heals your head” in so much as it teaches discipline and self-control. This is his rationale for wishing to have boxing taught in schools again.
That’s a similar rationale I use to defend jogging. When people tell me running is bad for me, my response is always the same: not if you prepare correctly and keep good form. Basically, running makes me feel the way I want, and there is a certain plateau I can reach through running that I cannot reach through other activities. Undoubtedly, boxing is a driving force for many people. It seems fairly intuitive that if a person immerses themselves in any activity, they will be able to achieve things that no one else can.
However, none of this should be an endorsement for teaching boxing in schools because destructive behaviors are generally not taught in school. Thousands of activities can help a person achieve a high level of physical fitness. Sure, boxing can train your abs as well as yoga. That is also to say that you can get the same benefit from yoga class directly, without the hits to the head.
Unfortunately, Parsons defense of his passion was severely weakened by his utopian vision of boxing that he ruined with ridiculous hyperbole. According to Parsons, all the world’s problems would disappear, “Fat kids lose weight. Bullies learn humility. Girls are empowered. Weak become stronger.” In serious introspection, he stated, “Young people carry knives because they are weak, because they are scared, because they are terrified. Because they don’t box. If they taught boxing in schools, all of this – the obesity, the porn addiction, the nervous knives – would vanish overnight.” These are some lofty correlations with no scientific data.
It is important to find inspiration and it is great that Parsons’ experience with boxing taught him these things. I doubt seriously that forcing kids into boxing rings is going to teach them humility and weight loss. Generally speaking, people learn things in their own ways through avenues they are passionate about and not those forced upon them. How boxing teaches kids to dislike pornography is not made clear by Parsons. How boxing could make the world a safer place is a connection I cannot draw. It’s no different than me saying that jogging could make the world a safer place because it puts the runner in the right head space. Still, a person can only get where they want in their own mind in their own way.
It’s sadly ironic that Parsons chose to say that boxing heals your head.
The studies of extreme, violent sports and head injuries have been taken more and more seriously over the last decade. A brain hemorrhage results from sudden, violent head movements that cause bleeding in the skull and pressure on the brain. The bursting of blood vessels and other swelling of the brain can cause stroke-like symptoms. In short, there can be no honest defense for playing contact sports that damage the brain. It can only be harmful, yet if it’s harm that does a person good, we are somewhat of an impasse.
Proponents of boxing will say that it heals your head. People against boxing will say that it advances degenerative brain diseases. Somewhere in the middle may lie the truth.
Muhammad Ali occupies that middle ground.
Ali infamously went through the last thirty years of his life in a terrible degenerative state of Parkinson’s. The utter humiliation and severe abuse the great one suffered in his last fights could not have helped his diseased brain. Ali went so far as to pinpoint his ill-advised 1980 fight with Larry Holmes as the reason for his Parkinson’s. Fans and promoters that pushed him into that situation may be to blame as much as the condition they don’t want to acknowledge. Ali’s family and doctor have been in public denial about the reason for his Parkinson’s onset, calling it hereditary. They also were not certain whether they would donate his brain to science.
Because Ali was so unique, it would be a major tragedy if his brain was not donated to science. While Ali may have wanted to believe that his fight with Holmes was the origin of his affliction, popular belief in the medical community is that repeated injuries over time do more damage than single blows. And there are few who have endured such a long career of head blows as Ali did.
Parkinson’s is a progressive disease in which vital brain cells die, stopping dopamine from being produced and inhibiting motor skills, such as tremors, slow movement and speech deficiencies. In other words, Parkinson’s symptoms resemble stroke-like behaviors. In fact, the Michael J Fox Foundation specifically questioned whether silent-strokes cause Parkinson’s. That answer is likely far from being answered, but it’s a logical conjecture.
Historically, Parkinson’s has been thought to be genetic, but the disease has mostly concerned people later in life, early onset is much more rare. The majority of doctors believe that repetitive blows to the head will lead to, or at least promote, an early onset of Parkinson’s.
However, what doctors have to go on is just a correlation that can be seen, not an absolute causal relationship. As much as has been learned about brain injury, primarily through brain autopsy after death, there is still so much to learn.
The correlation is stronger when considering that, among twins, Parkinson’s is more often seen in the sibling with head injuries and even more so with multiple head injuries. On PBS, Dr John Trojanowski said, “We know that at some threshold, once crossed, exposure to traumatic brain injury and repetitive brain injury sets the stage for early onset forms of neurodegeneration.” That’s far from determining a precise cause, but it’s hard to not follow the majority of the medical community.
What we don’t know: Boxing may help bring about early onset Parkinson’s.
What we do know: Boxing certainly doesn’t help matters and probably exacerbated Ali’s condition.
A caveat to examining celebrities is that it gives an extreme example that won’t necessarily translate to normal human experience. Boxers do get occasionally hit, but they are also not getting hit by Joe Louis. Football players may get hit, but they are not getting hit by Andre Waters or Junior Seau.
This is an important distinction for kids and parents that may be leery of trying something with such dark possible consequences. Just because the public perception is that it’s dangerous doesn’t mean to stay away from it. Like with anything, a person should follow their passion if that passion helps bring about the life they want to live. It just needs to be kept in mind that there are consequences.
There is also no denying that boxing can be very detrimental to living to a ripe old age with mental faculties in tact. As Tony Parsons points out, there are bright sides and huge rewards to being a boxer. The important part is to do it correctly and be well-trained. To have the balance and agility to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee is to be able to accomplish most anything. There is no denying that boxing can be very good for mental and physical well-being.
Lebron James: A Champion On and Off the Court
The Cleveland Cavaliers have won their first championship in 52 years, winning Game 7 over the Golden State Warriors by a score of 93-89. It is the first time a team has come back from falling behind in a 3-1 Finals series. Although, basketball is a team sport, LeBron James was a powerful force to be reckoned with. He was named Finals MVP for the third time in his career, averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 steals and 2.3 blocks.
Born in Akron, Ohio in 1984, James received national attention as the top high school player in the country. In 2003, he was the first player picked in the NBA Draft by the Cavaliers and became the youngest player, at the age of 20, to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
After making the “Decision” to leave Cleveland in 2010 to play for the Miami Heat, James returned in 2016 to his city of Cleveland and promised to bring them a championship. James said, “I came back for a reason. I came back to bring a championship to our city. I knew what I was capable of doing. I knew what I learned in the last couple years that I was gone, and when I came back, I knew I had the right ingredients and the right blueprint to help this franchise get back to a place that we’ve never been. That’s what it was all about”.
Though he is best known for his work inside the court, outside of the NBA, James works within the community throughout the entire year. James gears his passion and efforts towards the community and in his hometown of Akron. James and his mother established the LeBron James Family Foundation in 2004, to help out children and single-parent families in need.
The foundation has many programs, but its overall mission is to positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives. The initiatives that the foundation focuses on include: Wheels for Education, Akron I Promise Network, The LeBron Advisory Board (LAB), St. Vincent- St. Mary High School, University of Akron, and the Boys and Girls Club.
According to the James Foundation, the Wheels for Education program began in 2011 when LeBron partnered with State Farm to develop a campaign that targeted the national dropout issue. The State Farm 26 Second Campaign led to the development of the Wheels for Education program, which provides support, encouragement and incentives to third graders in Akron public schools up until their high school graduations in 2021.
This will be the first class from the program to graduate from high school. As a result, a 2014 survey by the Akron Public Schools showed that 91% of parents with kids in the “Wheels for Education” program said their child was doing better academically. Children enrolled in the program also showed to have a higher attendance rate than the rest of the district.
While this dedication and commitment is notable enough for anyone, James’ efforts and drive to help the community do not end there. In 2015, James announced that he would be giving children the chance to go to college for free.
James partnered with the University of Akron to sponsor full ride scholarships for the 1,100 children currently in his I Promise program. The children in the program range from the third to the seventh grades. If they complete the program and meet attendance and grade requirements, their tuition will be covered by James’ foundation and the university starting in 2021. This will cost an approximately $41.8 million at the university’s current yearly tuition rate of $9,500.
Furthermore, James’ foundation projects also included $1 million to completely renovate the St. Vincent- St. Mary high school gym including providing new athletic uniforms, new sports equipment, and new locker room facilities for both women and men student athletes.
Aside from his own foundation, James is a long time contributor to the Boys and Girls Club. In 2010 when he made the “Decision”, his announcement raised $2.5 million for the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. Today, he continues to travel across the nation and works with each city that hosts the NBA All-Star Game that particular year. Last year, the foundation renovated the Boys and Girls Club in Manhattan, New York. Some of the other charities and foundations that James supports are: After-School All-Stars, Children’s Defense Fund, Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation, and ONEXONE.
As a result, of his work (on and off the court) James has received many awards. His basketball career awards include, but is not limited to: four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Final MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, and NBA Rookie of the Year. However, he has also won awards outside of the court which include, H. Peter Burg Award from the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, NBA Community Assist Award, and Champion of Youth Award from the Boys and Girls Club.
Aside from being one of the best professional basketball players of the generation, he is considered to be on top of the list as one of the most charitable professional athletes of all time. His dedication, talent and hard work on and off the court define him as a champion in every way. In a world where it is more common to hear of athletes and their wrongdoings, it is refreshing to see a positive role model who commits year-long for the community he serves.
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