As LeBron James’ IPromise School in Akron, Ohio continues to exceed expectations in its attempt to support at-risk students and their parents with education, emotional, career and financial support, the powers that be are looking to honor James for his groundbreaking contribution to the children of our future. In fact, in the wake of the school’s overwhelming first-year improvements, James has been named one of 10 finalists to receive the 2019 NBA Cares Season Long Community Assist Award.
As part of the NBA Cares program, the league bestows the Community Assist Award on an individual who has shown community engagement, philanthropic activity, and charity work. Last year, the award was given to Kevin Durant for his “outstanding efforts in the community and his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work, which included more than $13 million in donations dedicated to education.
But now, a slew of new ballers are in the running for the award, which is decided by a fan vote and an NBA executive panel. Along with James is Nets’ Jarrett Allen, who helped launch a STEM program in which he used basketball to teach kids the principles of probability; The Wizards’ Bradley Beal, who spent the season as a mentor and a positive influence for the next generation of men; Grizzlies’ Mike Conley, who raised over $100,000 for sickle cell research and donated thousands to charities; Sixers’ Tobias Harris, who worked to empower young girls in Philly and explore the importance of literacy; Bucks’ Khris Middleton, who pledged $1 million to his high school and worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Milwaukee; Jazz’ Donovan Mitchell, who led school visits, basketball camps and more throughout the season; Mavericks’ Dwight Powell, who took care of families with cancer and donated thousands to research; Raptors’ Pascal Siakam, who worked to impact the lives of thousands in Africa; and the Trailblazers’ Damian Lillard, who’s been an advocate for driving “generational change for high-need.”
The winner, which will be announced on June 24 at the 2019 NBA Awards, will also receive $25,000 for a charity of their choice.