LeBron helps update basketball courts at Akron park

LeBron helps update basketball courts at Akron park
LeBron attended today's event. (Source: WOIO)
LeBron attended today's event. (Source: WOIO)

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - The vibe was electric at Akron's Patterson Park when LeBron James came home to a crowd of hundreds to reveal two refurbished basketball courts.

"Look around! This is a beautiful thing here!" Christine Williamson was ecstatic, having worked with kids through Akron's parks for 22 years.

Redell Craig, a 16-year-old basketball player at North High School told 19 Action News, "Basketball has been my life since I been a little guy."

The new courts are compliments of the King, and a commercial for Sprite that is in the works.

"I love to be able to do something like this for my city and for the kids who are behind me, in front of me and to the side of me. Thank you. I'm happy to be back," James told the hometown crowd.  

"He came from here from the north side of Akron. I love it. I love being from here too," said North High School Basketball player Markus Hale.

This night was about inspiration.

"It makes me want to do as good as him. Come out here and work hard," said Hale.

It was about hope and promise. Community and opportunity.

"Because these streets and these courts are what made me the player I am today," said James.

Jeremiah Wood played alongside James as a kid back in the day. Wood went on to play basketball for and graduate from the University of Akron, and now plays basketball overseas.

"Being born in Akron all these kids got something to look up to. LeBron built these courts," Wood said.

It's where LeBron's roots run deep. And what took root in Patterson Park is hope, faith, and optimism and it continues to grow in the form of every single kid there Thursday night.

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