Earlier this week, the Miami Heat’s LeBron James was in his hometown of Akron OH to open “Wheels For Education” in conjunction with a number of big-time corporate sponsors, providing hundreds of third-graders in Akron’s school system hope…hope in the form of a laptop computer, a backpack with school supplies and a bicycle.
In fact, James mounted a bike and rode in the rain for a couple miles with 22 kids selected as ambassadors for the program riding alongside for all to see. (Man that big on a bicycle is a sight in itself…) People showed up at the event more than a couple hours beforehand.
Akron Mayor Donald Plusquellic was quoted in the column posted on ESPN’s site, “He gives back. He doesn’t have to do this. Riding around the city street, taking a chance on falling or something, giving back here and having some jerk yell something like they yell at me…there’s a sincerity inside of him.”
This week alone James played in a rec league game in Cleveland…opened a clubhouse for the Akron Boys & Girls Club (with part of the money raised from “The Decision” presentation)…and was inducted into his high school’s athletic Hall of Fame.
He is spending part of his summer in Ohio as he did last year, even after “The Decision.” No matter what we might think about how Cleveland and Ohio fared that night, it is special to see James providing children in his hometown with hope for a better life.
That rec league game apparently allowed him to show off recent lessons learned from one Hakeem Olajuwon, who he has spent time with in Houston this offseason improving upon his post play.
And back to hope again…as LeBron continues to believe there will be NBA basketball this season. “I’m preparing for an NBA season. I’m preparing for there to be a training camp in the next month. I’m very optimistic that Billy Hunter and the owners and David Stern will figure out a way to come together and for us to have a season. And I’ll be ready for it.” Hopefully, that optimism for a labor settlement will somehow pan out.
In the meantime, part of Ohio is starting to slowly heal…and ironically even benefiting…from “The Decision.”