Browns cornerback Carrie inspired by James’ school in Akron
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — LeBron James is inspiring more than just kids with his school in Akron.
Cleveland Browns cornerback T.J. Carrie said Wednesday that the NBA star has motivated him and other athletes to be more active in their communities. “Are we doing enough?” Carrie asked.
Earlier this week, James, who recently left the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, opened the I Promise School, a year-round facility designed for at-risk kids and their families, in his hometown.
The school is funded by a partnership between Akron City Schools and the LeBron James Family foundation. Along with a curriculum that caters to a student’s needs, the school has a food pantry and provides transportation and other educational resources to some of the city’s most needy residents. It currently serves only third- and fourth-grade students, but the school plans expand to grades 1-8 by 2020.
Carrie, who signed with the Browns as a free agent in March after four seasons with Oakland, said James’ efforts lead him to want to do more. Two years ago, the 28-year-old launched his own youth foundation.
“I’m talking to my team now,” he said. “OK, LeBron’s doing this, we’re not on his level, but the level that we’re on, what can we do to achieve and make a huge difference within the community out here?”
Carrie said some of his teammates have discussed ways in which they can help others.
Carrie also has Ohio connections. The California native played at Ohio University before being drafted by the Raiders in 2014.
Although James is leaving after his second stint with the Cavaliers, Carrie believes his work in Ohio remains.
“LeBron has done an amazing job here in the state of Ohio, period,” Carrie said. “It sets precedents for what we should do as athletes on how we are a role model to a lot of kids that we may not know, that we may not see but that know us.”