LeBron James showed his greatness transcends basketball when he opened his I Promise school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio in August. In fact, he’s starting to make people wonder if he is a better person than he is a basketball player, which is remarkable considering he is arguably the greatest player to ever lace up a pair of Nikes.
James’ work off the court has resonated with people all across the country, including his new Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kyle Kuzma, who told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN that he hopes to have the same impact on his hometown of Flint, Michigan that James has with Akron.
Kuzma said he has, to the delight of the kids. Perhaps one day, Kuzma will talk to James about a deeper subject, like how to help Flint the way James has with Akron.
“LeBron is a role model in that sense,” Kuzma said. “Because for him to be as good as he is and how high up he is on the totem pole, to still care about Akron, Ohio, that is tremendous and speaks volumes.””He is from a small city and I am from a small city. So I want to [have] that type of impact on my community.”
We’ve heard plenty about James inspiring his teammates on the court since he signed on, and Kuzma is now the second Lakers teammate — after Josh Hart — to admit they’re inspired by James’ work in the community.
However, it’s worth noting Kuzma was giving back to his community long before James came along.
Midway through his rookie season with the Lakers, Kuzma threw a Christmas party for the children that are part of the ”Safe Places Program” at the YCMA of Greater Flint and gave away backpacks and headphones, among other things.
Most recently, the 23-year-old gave away 300 backpacks filled with school supplies at his first-ever Kyle Kuzma basketball camp in Flint. The basketball camp itself was also cost-free.