He’s a Los Angeles Laker now, but LeBron James made a special stop in Queens, New York, to surprise some lucky students at Christ the King School. NBC News reported that the basketball star stopped by the school and surprised both the boy’s and girl’s basketball teams with new gear.
Students at the school, which is known for its basketball program, had gathered in the gym when LeBron entered to surprise them.
“They said there was a surprise,” said one of the students who’d been waiting in the gym. “I heard a deep voice, saw this big, tall dude, and I realized it was LeBron.”
“Everybody jumped up and was like, ‘LEBRON JAMES!'” he said.
Students were thrilled to be gifted with new “CTK” Nike Zoom sneakers and jerseys. The basketball powerhouse has won many championships over the last 10 years. Notable alumni include former NBA players Lamar Odom and Jayson Williams. WNBA stars Sue Bird and Tina Charles also graduated from the Queens school.
“When he walked in, it was kind of just surreal,” said senior forward Clarke Sconiers. “To see that he took time out of his day to come here and give back, that meant a lot to us.”
LeBron has supported the team for years, and coach Joe Arbitello approves of his help. LeBron also paid for and helped design locker room updates for the teams at Christ the King. Arbitello noted that occasionally, the program’s ties to the famous basketball star and his involvement with their program draws some critiques from outsiders.
“Anybody that criticizes LeBron James doesn’t have a grasp on society,” he said. “He really inspired our kids.”
The updates to the locker room included custom wall paintings in the school’s colors of maroon and gold. The limited-edition Christ the King sneaker was released by Nike in a throwback version as well. LeBron is working closely with Nike as one of the faces of its 30th Anniversary campaign, headed by Colin Kaepernick.
Like Kaepernick, LeBron is known for his dedication to giving back and using his platform for good. He created the “I Promise” school in his hometown of Cleveland to help youth there achieve their dreams and live up to the utmost of their potential. He supports high schoolers. He designs sneakers inspired by the strong women in his life. This week he made a personal trip to New York to inspire kids. With LeBron, everything is a surprise.