LeBron James: 'Rebuilding Basketball Courts ... Is One of My Biggest Priorities'
By Denise Warner Posted Mar 4th 2011 04:30PM
NBA superstar LeBron James learned how to play basketball on the playgrounds of Akron, Ohio, and now he's teamed up with rap mogul Jay-Z and Sprite to launch a new program to rebuild courts all over the United States.
"Rebuilding basketball courts, playgrounds, gyms and places for young people to play is one of my biggest priorities," he told PopEater via e-mail.
We also asked the Miami Heat player why the initiative is important to him and about his new cartoon web series, 'The LeBrons.' Check it out inside!
Tell us about the Sprite Program.
The program is called the Sprite Spark Parks Project, and in 2011, it will construct, renovate and refresh more than 150 basketball courts, community parks and playgrounds across the country where young people can get out and be active. It's the exact kind of program I like to be part of -- I've been working with Sprite for several years, and together, we know how critically important it is for neighborhoods to have clean, safe and fun places to play.
Is it important to you to use your celebrity for causes like this?
Rebuilding basketball courts, playgrounds, gyms and places for young people to play is one of my biggest priorities. The Sprite Spark Parks Project offers young people an opportunity to make a difference in their community, where future generations of basketball stars can develop their skills.
How would you encourage others to get involved?
It's really easy. Right now, you can visit Sprite.com or Facebook.com/Sprite and find and nominate a basketball court in your area that could use some refreshment. We're taking nominations until April 8, and fans can begin voting on finalists beginning in May. You can keep checking those sites for more opportunities to revamp playgrounds, athletic fields and other community spaces throughout the year.
Can you tell us a little about your cartoon, 'The LeBrons'?
The series is about the characters I developed through the Nike commercials. Each character represents four different sides of my personality: Kid, Wise, Business and Athlete. The episodes will have plenty of humor and are designed to relay a series of positive messages.
What made you want to make it an entire show?
The series allows me to continue to connect with young people through an entertaining and meaningful way and help make an impact with today's youth.
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