‘Dreams can come true’: Young people inspired by LeBron James hope to return inspiration

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AKRON, Ohio-- With the Cavaliers badly needing to win an important Game 3 of the NBA finals many around the country are giving the Eastern Conference Champions a very small chance to win it all.

But in LeBron James' hometown the confidence has not wavered.

James, who refers to himself as "just a kid from Akron," has invested a lot of himself trying to inspire greatness in the youth of his boyhood hometown.

For Game 3, some of those same young people hope to inspire him.

LeBron helped create the Boys and Girls Club at Joy Park that now bears his name.

The young people who attend the club consider themselves family and as such hope to inspire their idol to repeat what he accomplished in 2016 and do for himself what he makes them believe they can do.

"LeBron means to me no matter through any hard times like push through it; you can do it," said Amir Gracy, 16.

"Seeing him growing up in a town like ours and him becoming such a big basketball player, it really helps us think that dreams can come true," said Malaya Owens.

While LeBron helped to create the club at Joy Park it is sustained by contributions from a number of area donors and across Akron the confidence in LeBron and the Cavaliers may be the highest it can be anywhere.

"He inspires them to be great, even outside of athletics. He inspires them to be great at school, at art, at science at everything," said James Warner, club director.

"I think a lot of them can relate to the fact that he grew up in the same environment as them and that gives them a sense of hope and when they combine that hope with the energy that it takes to be successful, and when they have mentors around them to foster their development, these kids are destined for success," said Warner.

"He inspires me because one day I want to play basketball in the NBA. I plan to go to college, and it's a good thing that he's doing because he actually provides kids with scholarships," said Mekiah Williams, 14.

"He's a good pillar to the community because he grew up here," added Williams .

Williams is among the kids who hopes that LeBron will sense the support he is getting from the kids who he has helped inspire.

"Congratulations for making it so far. Last year, you had a goal of coming home and bringing a championship and you did that and I hope one day that I can follow in your path and be successful. Don't let anything bring you down; you are probably the greatest basketball player to come out of Akron, Ohio. Just be yourself," said Williams.