When LeBron James learned that there was an exhibit to honor the life of Muhammad Ali, he was quick to jump on the opportunity to support it. The exhibit will be on display at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. LeBron spoke with USA TODAY about the donation. “Muhammad Ali is such a cornerstone of me as an athlete, because of what he represented. Not only in the ring as a champion, but more outside the ring; what he stood for, what he spoke for, his demeanor. I think of him, every day. Without his passion, and goals, and morals, I don’t know if I’d be sitting here today talking to you about it”, said James.
A $2.5 million donation was made by LeBron James, Maverick Carter, and through James’ charitable foundation. Maverick Carter is a business partner of James. The exhibit is called, “Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change”. There are list of donors for the project, which includes other NBA players. A $1 million donation was given by Magic Johnson, while Michael Jordan gave a donation of $5 million.
James has always been focused on giving and helping others. When he started the organization, he would give away bikes to students in Akron, Ohio. It didn’t take long for James to realize he wasn’t doing enough. This was the birth of Wheels for Education, which helps third-graders remain focused on successfully completing school and obtaining their diplomas. Every year, the organization gives backpacks with school supplies, laptops, and bikes. James didn’t feel that was enough. He began a program in 2015, which provides scholarships to the University of Akron for students that are enrolled in his organization’s academic program. The first group of students in the program are currently in the eighth grade.