LeBron James was named as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People, but it’s not his first time on the list. This year marks the fourth time the Los Angeles Lakers’ star has made the magazine’s list, which has been released annually for the last 16 years. In addition to LeBron James, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, George Clooney and a few others are also four-time honorees.
Although James is no stranger to the honor, his profile this year focused less on his accomplishments on the court and instead centered around his work in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
Billionaire Warren Buffett wrote a tribute to James and his endeavors in the world of education.
“Early heroes will mold a person’s future. LeBron has justified the adulation of millions and millions of young people, thanks to his ability to live up to enormous expectations on the basketball court, his business successes in Hollywood and media, and his new I Promise School for disadvantaged kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio,” Warren Buffett, who is James’ longtime friend, wrote for Time. “That adulation will make a positive difference in their lives. And you know what else is exciting? As great as he has been so far—on and off the court—you’re just seeing the start of LeBron.”
In the first year of its existence, the I Promise School, which was founded by the LeBron James Family Foundation, has already shown remarkable results. According to school administrators, 90 percent of the school’s 240 third and fourth graders “met or exceeded” their goals in reading and math. The students also outperformed other schools in the Akron public school district.