NBA star LeBron James’ impact goes far beyond the basketball court. The Akron, Ohio native has continually utilized his platform and resources to support individuals in need. According to WKYC, the Los Angeles Lakers player surprised one of the students from his I Promise School with a shopping spree just in time for the new school year.
The surprise was a part of James’ partnership with Walmart. He teamed up with the national retailer earlier this year to assist with pushing their initiatives surrounding education and hunger forward. The student, whose name is LaRiyah, was gifted with a back-to-school spree for herself and her peers at a Walmart in Kent, Ohio. For James, this act of kindness was personal. While coming of age in Akron he witnessed first-hand how school supplies can become a financial burden for families who are struggling to make ends meet. “Coming from Akron, it’s easy for me to be able to relate to anyone of my kids in school because I’ve walked those same roads, not knowing if you’re going to be able to go back to school,” said James in a statement. “To have such a great partnership with Walmart and outfit our kids with supplies, I believe is going to do something for their confidence to just hit the ground running.”
The surprise was just one of a few social good projects that James is leading with Walmart. Earlier this year—as part of the Fight Hunger Spark Change campaign—James created a pantry at the I Promise School for underserved families that featured food and personal care items.
James isn’t the only NBA player on a mission to provide underprivileged students with the items they need to have a good school year. In August, Kawhi Leonard teamed up with the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Baby2Baby and the L.A. Clippers Foundation to donate one million backpacks to children from low-income families.