That's one king-sized promise! LeBron James is putting his multimillion-dollar salary to good use — by investing in the next generation of leaders and superstars. The NBA icon, 30, who signed a two-year, $47 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers in July, has partnered with the University of Akron to provide full scholarships for every student in his I Promise program who qualifies.
According to ESPN, the scholarship would cover tuition and service fees at UA — about $9,500 a year. The Akron Beacon Journal reports that as many as 2,300 kids could benefit. (Other estimates have the number at around 1,100 kids.)
Requirements for the scholarships have not yet been finalized, but ESPN notes that students would have to graduate from an Akron public high school and meet various standardized testing and community service criteria. The first eligible group is this year's seventh grade class, who will graduate high school in 2021.
"Every single kid who finish[es] my program will go to college for FREE!" the Trainwreck standout (and Akron, Ohio, native) tweeted on Thursday, Aug. 13.
James' big news comes at a crucial time for the University of Akron. As reported by ESPN, the school has been plagued by financial troubles and recently made around $40 million in cuts. In honor of the athlete's generous pledge, the university is renaming its education department after his LeBron James Family Foundation.
"These students have big dreams, and I'm happy to do everything I can to help them get there," the four-time MVP said at an event about the program on Thursday (via ESPN). "They're going to have to earn it, but I'm excited to see what these kids can accomplish knowing that college is in their futures."