LeBron James was presented with the NAACP Jackie Robinson Sports Award ahead of Wednesday night’s Timberwolves-Cavs game, an award given to athletes “for their high achievement in athletics and contributions in the pursuit of social justice, civil rights and community involvement.”
Past winners have included The Harlem Globetrotters, Anita DeFrantz, Jim Brown, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Sugar Ray Leonard, Eddie Robinson and Michael Jordan.
Per the Cavs’ team website:
Throughout his career, James has made charitable efforts a priority namely through the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF). Founded by James in 2004, the program strives to positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives. In 2011, the Foundation began working on the high school dropout crisis facing LeBron’s hometown community and launched its “Wheels for Education” program, which has since expanded with the “Akron I PROMISE Network.” These initiatives support inner-city students with the programs, support, and mentors they need all the way through graduation. In partnership with The University of Akron, James has guaranteed college educations for thousands of Akron Public School students that complete the Foundation’s programs and meet certain academic and philanthropic criteria. Through these efforts, James has used his influence to move an entire community to rally around the youth in Akron and help them achieve their dreams through education.
Coupled with his success on the court, James’ diverse business portfolio of innovative endorsements and authentic investments has established him as one of the most popular figures in the world. Adding to his off-the-court portfolio, James continues to increase his influence in the entertainment industry through his production company, SpringHill Entertainment. Named after the public housing complex where James grew up in Akron, Ohio, SpringHill Entertainment is an entertainment and content company that develops creative content across a variety of platforms including digital, documentary and feature films, and scripted and unscripted TV.