AKRON, Ohio –– “Nothing is given. Everything is earned.” LeBron James practices what he preaches and, with the help of the LeBron James Family Foundation, King James is rewarding local high school students who choose to follow in his footsteps.
“We are really anxious,” said LeBron James Family Foundation Volunteer Konstantine Howley.
Up until this point, the LeBron James Family Foundation kept a secret.
“Catherine and I are going to be dropping out at the last second,” said Howley. “It is going to be pretty awesome.”
It is a high-flying secret that will stick with the Kenmore High School football team forever.
“I cannot wait to see the faces on these football players when they come out there,” said Howley. “Kenmore is not known for their football, but they are going to be this year.”
LeBron James and his foundation are giving every football player on the team a helmet, jersey, pants, belt and socks.
And it is all because they have proved themselves.
Students turning the tide, setting an example, and earning a gift that brought the Cardinals’ coach to tears.
The normally tough guy Cardinals Football Coach Kemp Boyd, said through grateful tears, “Oh man! I’m just really thankful.”
Boy began the process when he wrote a letter to the foundation at the urging of a supervisor at his Pastoral Counseling Service.
“(LeBron’s) hope is that, if we have some teams that are not displaying the best sportsmanship, that this opens their eyes that ‘Hey, if we do the right things, good things will come to us,”” said Campbell.
Boyd said proudly, “The whole mission of our football team is I want to use these young men to be positive catalysts for positive change in our community.”
Kenmore High School football players showed up at the University of Akron around 6 p.m. Tuesday night for what they thought was a team meeting. They had no idea what was about to fly out of the sky.
Around 6:30 p.m., a helicopter landed in the middle of the track. Members of the LJFF lined up wearing shirts with the message, “In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given, everything is earned.”
“It’s just a nice surprise! Thank you LeBron Foundation and everyone for being out here for positive change,” Quarterback Dorell Daniels told WKYC.
Two more people with the Foundation came out of the helicopter, revealing the new uniforms to the players. Their shirts completed the message saying, “You work for what you have.” Howley added, “When you are in the huddle, and you are looking at each other, there is no better reminder than staring at the crown of someone’s helmet and knowing you have a promise to be great, to be role models for these kids.”
Daniels explained, “We stopped the violence, the negativity. You know, skipping class and drugs and drinking.”
LeBron James was out of town but his wife Savannah and two sons attended the event.
The LJFF hopes to do one surprise drop a month, for any team, whether it be the debate team, cheerleading squad or marching band, that demonstrates good sportsmanship and leadership.