LeBron’s hometown reacts to him signing with the Lakers

AKRON-Even as LeBron James heads west to join the Los Angeles Lakers evidence of his commitment to help kids in his hometown continues.

Finishing touches on Monday were being put on a new school that will open later this month with the help of the LeBron James Family Foundation through a collaboration with Akron Public Schools.

When the school opens on July 30  the foundation will help provide an education for 240 third and fourth graders.

Keith Leichty of the Akron Public Schools says it is a commitment that will only grow even with LeBron playing basketball for the Lakers.

"Next year we will double in size so we will go from 240 to 480 each year we are going to add two grade levels until we are at capacity with grades 1-8," said Leichty.

LeBron has described himself as, "just a kid from Akron."  Through his foundation he has helped provide education opportunities for local kids and their parents, scholarships for students to attend the University of Akron and opportunities for the parents of children in his IPromise program to get their GED.

"I think people forget that he started this program when he was in Miami, when he was away and every year its gotten deeper and deeper and deeper," said Michele Campbell, Executive Director of the LeBron James Family Foundation.

In fact, while playing in Miami LeBron donated $1 million to his Alma Mater, St. Vincent St. Mary High School in Akron.

The money he raised from the ill-advised television program where he announced his decision to go to Miami helped start a boys and girls club in Akron.  Much of what he does for his hometown is done without the expectation of publicity.

"Just because he's going to L.A., this is his home. We'll see him," said Akron Council Member Tara Samples.
The fact that LeBron will not be living in Akron year around, many people in Akron believe he will always be a hometown kid, and that will be his legacy here.

"A lot of the media don't understand the depth of his work and what he is doing and when its all said and done mark my word people will be talking more about what he did off the court and his legacy there than they will be talking about what he did on the court," said Campbell.