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Professional basketball player LeBron James was born into a struggling household in Akron Ohio until his mother sent him to live with a local coach.

Fortunately for James, the coach introduced the boy to basketball, which was the first step in James becoming a basketball superstar.

Remembering his beginnings, James has turned his attention back to Akron, where he is determined to donate the funds required to support its high school graduates through college through the LeBron James Family Foundation.

Growing up in the inner city, James says that a lot of African American kids don’t think past high school because college is not on their families’ financial horizon. To change that reality around, James is providing four-year scholarships to cover tuition and the University of Akron’s general service fee, about $9,500 per year for about 1,100 kids, amounting to almost $42 million.

“These students have big dreams, and I’m happy to do everything I can to help them get there,” says James. “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.”

It will be five years before the first kids receive their scholarships and arrive on campus in 2021.

“It’s the reason I do what I do,” says James.

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