Thursday, 09 November 2017 05:25

New UA, I PROMISE Campaign Featuring The King

LeBron James, the Kid from Akron, is the man behind the "I PROMISE" program, which he started back in 2011 in an effort to reduce the number of high school students dropping out of school. Since then, the "I PROMISE" program has partnered with University of Akron, helping kids, from a young age, stay on their path of education.

 

Now, LeBron is the face of a new digital marketing campaign, courtesy of "I PROMISE" and UA. 

 

 

 

See the press release from the University of Akron below for more details:  

 

The University of Akron’s (UA) latest videos in partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) feature Akron native and four-time NBA MVP LeBron James, along with aspiring students in his I PROMISE program and current UA students. The videos highlighting the benefits of a college education at UA are launching today via digital media in several markets in Ohio and elsewhere.

 

“It’s all about sparking hope and fulfilling dreams for my I PROMISE kids,” says James in the videos’ introduction. With a focus on stemming the high school dropout rates in his hometown of Akron, James started the I PROMISE program in 2011.

 

His foundation recently brought several I PROMISE students—some who are now high school freshmen—to the University to talk with current UA students. The resulting series of videos capture UA students mentoring the high schoolers for an afternoon, sharing their college experience, visiting labs and classrooms, and meeting professors. After the mentoring experience, the group came together at the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education to meet with James and share their dreams and goals with him.

 

“The University of Akron expresses its profound thanks to LeBron and the LeBron James Family Foundation for their partnership with the University,” said UA President Matthew J. Wilson. “The engagement seen in the videos between the I PROMISE and UA students is genuine and powerful.”

 

The full-length video runs just under two-minutes. Six I PROMISE students are also spotlighted in shorter videos, paired with UA students in their area of interest. The featured I PROMISE students include Jayden, paired with UA student and computer whiz Spencer Csasky, who is majoring in cybersecurity. Another showcased I PROMISE student is Julia, set to graduate from high school in 2022. She met with UA student Drake Smalley, who shared his co-op experience building orthopedic implants.

 

The videos are an integral part of UA’s fall student recruitment campaign, which is primarily digital media based but will also include some television broadcast and other media. The videos will target Northeast Ohio as well as markets including Erie, PA, Pittsburgh and suburban Chicago.

The full-length video is available at uakron.edu/discover. The individual student videos are at uakron.edu/stories.

Published in Local
Monday, 25 September 2017 18:40

AUDIO LeBron Salutes NFL For Solidarity

Akron's own LeBron James spoke at Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day Monday to address some of the social issues going on in our society, and with that he addressed the NFL for its various signs of solidarity Sunday. 

Published in Sam and Brad

A local Akron City Schools teacher is standing up for Akron's own super hero, LeBron James, after his Los Angeles-area home was vandalized last week before the start of the NBA Finals in Oakland. 

Jennifer Pennington, an English as a Second Language teacher at Jennings CLC says tells the Jasen Sokol Show that when she heard that someone had spray-painted a racial slur across the outer gate of LeBron's west coast home, she wanted to get the message out that this word shouldn't be used to describe LeBron or anyone for that matter. 

"I just kept thinking about it and thinking about it," Pennington said, "and I thought I just want to do this; I want to put some signs up and I want to respond." 

And respond she did, with homemade signs that read "Hero" and "Humanitarian" and "Role Model" and more. She pulled up to LeBron's Bath Township home, and with the OK of the security working the property, she put them up outside along the street. 

There's been no response from LeBron, who is back home ahead of the NBA Finals Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday against the Warriors; but there's no doubt he's heard about it as Sports Illustrated was one of the first news outlets to run with the story.

The Cavs are down two games to none to the Warriors in the Finals. Game 3 tips off just after 9 p.m. Wednesday night on 1590 WAKR. 

Published in Local

Sam Bourquin spoke with ESPN Cavs beat writer Dave McMenamin and ESPN basketball writer Brian Windhorst to talk about the new book "Return of the King" as it takes a behind-the-curtain look at the Cavs' championship run, as

well as the catalyst of that triumph, Akron's own LeBron James.

For more on Return of the King, click right here.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

It's no secret that LeBron James is committed to making his home town of Akron better. 

With that in mind, LeBron hosted a press conference Tuesday night to announce his proposed "I Promise" elementary school in Akron. 

During the press conference, with the help of the LeBron James Family Foundation, the Akron-native made public his intention to provide a first-eighth grade school for students who may be at a disatvantage and more prone to falling behind their peers. 

The school would be in the city of Akron and would operate in conjunction with and according to regulations for Akron Public Schools. Eligible students would be selected through a lottery system, according to James. 

The focus of the school would be providing a hands-on-learning environment for kids through the eighth grade and focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. 

An official proposal for the school will be presented to the Akron School Board in October, 2017. 

Published in Local
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 17:32

AUDIO Lang Whitaker Talks NBA, Cavaliers

As the Cavaliers prepare to face the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight., NBA.com and NBA TV's Lang Whitaker came on with Sam and Brad to talk about the Wine and Gold's struggles, and the war of words between LeBron James and Charles Barkley.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:26

AUDIO Dru Joyce II Talks STVM Irish Hoops

STVM Fighting Irish head basketball coach Dru Joyce II spoke about his team's matchup with Ellet Thursday night.

 

Also Dru weighed in on Cavs' superstar and one of his former players, LeBron James not getting foul calls during the course of a game.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

UPDATED 4:50 a.m. The victims of Saturday's fire that left four dead and two injured were identified by their pastor. Rev. Zach Prosser of Celebration Church in Akron told Cleveland.com the adults are Omar Riley and Shirley Wallis, who had been together for 12 years. Their daughters, nine year old Aniyla and and eight year old Shanice, also perished in the blaze. Prosser identified the 12-year old victim as Wallis' daughter Shaniya, who was listed in critical condition at Akron Children's Hospital.

Another victim, Jennifer Grubbs, was also injured when she jumped out of the attic from the flames according to her fiancee. He was not in the home at the time of the fire. The flames first showed in the back of the house according to a neighbor's home security camera video, according to reports.

Previous coverage

An early morning Saturday blaze left four people dead, two injured. The Akron Fire Department reports the house fire at 266 East Tallmadge Avenue was "heavily involved" when they arrived about five minutes after the call at 1:33 a.m. Arriving firefighters were able to pull five of the six victims from the home. Among the dead are an eight and nine year old; News5 reports a 12-year old jumped from a second floor window to escape the flames and is in critical condition. An adult was also pulled from the home and was also injured.

Video from the scene is at the News5 link above

Names and other details of the victims were not released. There is no cause of the blaze at this time. 

No smoke detectors were found in the home, which reportedly was a rental property. The American Red Cross is reminding area residents smoke detectors are free throughout northeast Ohio, and the Akron Fire Department provides free installation in partnership with the Red Cross. Mayor Dan Horrigan said he was "deeply saddened" by the tragedy...and will see to it hat the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need."

The children were enrolled in Akron Public Schools, one at Seiberling Elementary and another at Forest Hills Elementary. The 12-year old is a student at Hyre Middle School. APS spokesman Mark Williamson said ""Akron Public Schools and its community of families are profoundly saddened by this loss of two precious children and other members of their family. Three of our schools have felt this tragedy, deeply, and will be visited by our counselors this week for assistance. We offer our heartfelt prayers."

There was also reaction from LeBron James and the LeBron James Family Foundation; the children were members of his Wheels for Education program. James tweeted he was "unbelievably saddened to hear the news. My heart hurts...our family lost two bright, bright stars." 

- - -

(Akron Fire Department) Firefighters responded to a two and a half story residential house fire. Upon arrival the first floor was heavily involved in smoke and flames. People were reported to be trapped inside so an immediate interior fire attack was taken for rescue. The call came in at 01:33 and by 01:38 the first Engine was on scene.

Through the heavy heat and smoke (no visibility) 5 of the 6 victims were pulled from the house within the first few minutes of arrival. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but it was noted that smoke detectors could not be located throughout the house.

The fire caused four fatalilties. Two adults and two children, 8 and 9 year old. Two other victims were transported and are still ithe hospital. Unknown condition at the time of this press release. Names, relationships, and genders were not given while investigation is on going. One firefighter was transported for minor injuries and released.

(American Red Cross) We are deeply saddened by the loss of life resulting from a home fire in Akron early Saturday morning. Our hearts go out to the families affected by this tragedy.

The Red Cross partners with many Fire Departments in Northeast Ohio, including the Akron Fire Department, to provide and install smoke alarms, free of charge, to any resident who requests the alarms. We also provide valuable fire safety information, and help residents develop plans to escape from their homes should a fire occur. The initiative is call Operation Save-A-Life.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan helped launch Operation Save-a-Life at a home in Akron earlier this year.

Akron residents can call 330-535-2030 to request a home fire safety inspection and free smoke alarms. In Cleveland, residents can call 216-361-5535. Youngstown residents may call 866-319-7160. Elsewhere
throughout Northeast Ohio, residents can log onto redcross.org/neo to request smoke alarms for their homes. 

We are grateful for our partnerships with so many fire departments, corporations and community groups for helping to provide this valuable, potentially life-saving service, and we urge all residents to check their homes for working smoke alarms, and to contact us at the numbers or website above if they need smoke alarms for their homes for working smoke alarms, and to contact us at the numbers above.

(City of Akron) Early this morning the Akron Fire Department responded to an advanced-stage fire in a three-story house on East Tallmadge Avenue.

The Fire Department acted quickly to extinguish the flames and rescue the individuals inside. Tragically, two adults and two children lost their lives in the fire. One adult and one child have survived and are being treated for their injuries.

"My family, the Akron Fire Department, and the entire Akron community, are profoundly saddened by this devastating incident. Any time our community experiences a loss such as this, it reminds us how precious life is," said Mayor Dan Horrigan. 'My deepest sympathies and prayers are with the family members of those who lost their lives, as we continue to pray for strength and healing for the survivors being treated. We will see to it that the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need.

There is no higher duty we have as city leaders than to protect the health and safety of our residents and I thank the Akron Fire Department for their bravery in responding to this fire and for their attempts to rescue those trapped inside. I offer my full support and confidence as the professionals work to investigate the cause of this fire." 

(Akron Public Schools) "Akron Public Schools and its community of families are profoundly saddened by this loss of two precious children and other members of their family. Three of our schools have felt this tragedy, deeply, and will be visited by our counselors this week for assistance. We offer our heartfelt prayers."

 

Published in Local
Thursday, 10 November 2016 15:38

President Welcomes World Champion Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers went to the White House on Thursday afternoon, and got congratulations on their NBA championship from President Obama.

On the White House East Lawn, the President listed some of the key highlights of the Cavaliers' Game 7 win over the Golden State Warriors.

"There was the block, what LeBron has said was the defining play of his career, the shot by Kyrie, putting the Cavs up five, the stop by Kevin Love," he recalled.

And President Obama said he knows the championship ended Cleveland's tortured sports history.

"The city that throughout sports history has been through a lot," the President said, listing some of the more infamous local sports moments, "the Fumble, the Drive, Jordan over Ehlo, a whole lot more...but through it all, Cleveland was always Believeland, and that's why...and that's why the Cavs have always given back to their fans and the community that's been loyal to them."

President Obama mentioned, among other things Cavaliers team members have done for the community, LeBron James sponsoring University of Akron scholarships for Akron school students.

The President got an "Obama / 16" Cavaliers jersey from Kevin Love.

The president says the Cavaliers were already a championship team before last year, and that Cleveland should be proud of them.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 17:30

LeBron Reacts To Presidential Election Results

Published in Local
Monday, 26 September 2016 18:30

AUDIO LeBron: "We Can't Shorcut Anything"

As LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers get ready to get training camp started for the 2016 season, he knows that he and the rest of the guys have to work their habits and get back to work.

James spoke with the media for the annual Cavs Media Day at Cleveland Clinic Courts. 

When asked about looking back on last year's championship run, LeBron said he hasn't looked back, but is looking forward.

"I haven't had much time to just sit around and look at the accomplishments we made and what we had and what we did, but I know it was an incredible ride, and I was happy to be a part of it."

 

 

For the full interview with LeBron, click here. 

Published in Sam and Brad

A new long-term partnership between the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron-based Signet Jewelers is set to provide more mentoring opportunities for Akron Public School students.

Michele Campbell, executive director of LJFF, said the partnership allows for Signet employees to train and become one-on-one mentors for 3rd-8th grade students.

"We have 1,129 students and we need more mentors," said Campbell. "With Signet right in our backyard and committed to our program and committed to this community, it's going to allow us to have more mentors , one-on-one, with our children."

Several students joined Campbell, APS Superintendent David James and Signet officials for the announcement at Litchfield Middle School Friday morning. It's safe to say that Jayden Shippe, 13, is enjoying his time spent with the LJFF.

"I love this program," said Shippe. "I love the fun trips , the mentors and how we get to go to Cedar Point every year ad I love how they're giving us a scholarship to [The University of Akron.]"

Shippe said the mentoring program has been beneficial and helped him succeed in the classroom. 13-year-old Mikhaila Bonds said it's more than just helping with work in the classrooms.

"We just talk," said Bond. "They're like a counselor."

Campbell said volunteers will work directly with United Way of Summit County's iC.A.R.E Mentoring program, to offer training.

Published in Local
Thursday, 07 July 2016 14:38

LeBron's New TV Ad

After winning the NBA championship with his Cleveland Cavaliers, Akron's own LeBron James is still busy with endorsements.

He appears in a new ad for Verizon Wireless, where he's telling a student to pay attention to class...instead of watching his plays on a phone.

The ad was filmed at LeBron's alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary's High School, and promotes the company's new phone plans.

 

 

Published in Local
Thursday, 07 July 2016 09:48

Cavs Top Team NBA Sales

The title wasn't the only top spot the Cavaliers scored iin the NBA this year -- Cavaliers gear topped all teams on the NBA's merchandise shopping list for the first time since January of 2015.
 
Akron's other NBA native son still leads in total jersey sales; LeBron came in second and Kyrie Irving was fourth.
 
- - -
 
(NBA) Unprecedented demand for Cleveland Cavaliers merchandise following the team’s NBA Finals 2016 win helped land them atop the most popular team merchandise list for the first time since January 2015. Reigning back-to-back Kia NBA MVP Stephen Curry once again tops the league’s list of most popular jerseys, a position he’s held since the end of the 2014-15 NBA season. Rankings are based on overall sales on NBAStore.com from April through June.
 
Rounding out the top five players are three-time NBA Champion LeBron James (No. 2), five-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant (No. 3), 2016 NBA Champion Kyrie Irving (No. 4) and 2015 NBA Champion Klay Thompson (No. 5).
 
The Cavaliers are followed by the Golden State Warriors at No. 2, Los Angeles Lakers at No. 3, Chicago Bulls at No. 4 and Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 5 on the team merchandise list.
 
Additional highlights:
 
· The Warriors’ Andre Iguodala (No. 14) makes his debut on the jerseys list while teammate Draymond Green (No. 7) earns his highest ranking ever.
 
· The San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan (No. 11) and Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard (No. 13) place for the first time since June 2015 and April 2015, respectively.
 
Top 15 Most Popular NBA Jerseys: 
 
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
 
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
 
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers*
 
4. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
 
5. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
 
6. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
 
7. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
 
8. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
 
9. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
 
10. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls*
 
11. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
 
12. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
 
13. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
 
14. Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
 
15. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
 
*Denotes players who retired or changed teams after the 2015-16 season.
 
Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise:
 
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
 
2. Golden State Warriors
 
3. Los Angeles Lakers
 
4. Chicago Bulls
 
5. Oklahoma City Thunder
 
6. San Antonio Spurs
 
7. Miami Heat
 
8. Toronto Raptors
 
9. New York Knicks
 
10. Boston Celtics
Published in Local
Saturday, 25 June 2016 10:27

Canal Park Serves Up "LeBlock Burger"

Northeast Ohio has been hungry for a championship for the past 52 years, and now our local baseball team has something fans can sink their teeth into.

The Akron RubberDucks have announced a new addition to their popular "Extreme Menu" called the "LeBlock Burger". It's a bacon-stuffed burger with Middlefield cheddar cheese, wine and gold slaw, and a championship onion ring on a Kaiser bun. The entrée is even served with a side of fries topped with "Salty Curry" powder.

The burger was named, as you might have guessed, in honor of LeBron James' memorable block against Andre Iguodala in the Cleveland Cavaliers victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

The "LeBlock Burger" is available now at Canal Park at Taters concession stand behind home plate.

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(Akron RubberDucks, press release)The Akron RubberDucks announced today a new addition to the popular "Extreme Foods" menu. The "LeBlock Burger," a bacon-stuffed burger topped with Middlefield cheddar cheese, wine and gold slaw, and a championship onion ring on a Kaiser bun. The entrée is served with a side of fries topped with "Salty Curry" powder.

The new burger celebrates Akron native LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA Championship, Cleveland's first major sports title in 52 years.

"This is the most exciting time Northeast Ohio sports," Akron RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander said. "We're always looking to incorporate the sporting trends of this region into our menu and I can think of no better way to do so then honoring the 'King' bringing a title to his hometown of Akron."

The "Extreme Menu" item will sell for $9.75 and is available at Taters concession stand located right behind home plate.

"It's a delicious burger meant to honor King James and the Cavaliers. First, it's tough to top a bacon-stuffed burger, but we added local Northeast Ohio Middlefield cheddar cheese, wine and gold slaw to represent the Cavaliers' colors, the "championship" onion ring to celebrate the title, and we thought we'd have a little fun with another Finals participant by doing 'Salty Curry' fries," said assistant director of food and beverage Collin Tulley.

"Our fans seem to enjoy when we have fun with our Extreme Menu as it relates to current Cleveland sports, such as the 'Johnny Footlong' and the 'Return of the King Burger,' and this only reinforces that," said Director of food and beverage Brian Manning.

The "LeBlock Burger" joins other "Extreme Menu" entrees such as "The Pineapple TeriyAKRON Bowl," a half pineapple, hollowed out and stuffed with a stir fry mix and finished with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce, and the "Ugly Duckling," 16 ounces of stout beer poured over three scoops of vanilla ice cream, topped with chocolate syrup and sprinkles.

The "LeBlock Burger" hits stands on June 24 before the 7:05 game at Canal Park vs. Trenton Thunder.

The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2016 season is its 20th since moving to Akron and third since becoming the RubberDucks. Akron will host the Eastern League All-Star Game, Eastern League Home Run Derby and festivities July 12-13. For more information about the team, please visit the RubberDucks' website,www.akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, Twitter feed @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram at @akronrubberducks.

 

Published in Local

Now that the championship is out of the way, there have been more details released on LeBron James' next big project.

CNBC will launch a new TV series later this summer, produced by the MVP along with Springhill Entertainment partner Maverick Carter, called "Cleveland Hustles", which will feature four accomplished Cleveland business leaders teaming up with local entrepreneurs looking for an investment to build the success of their own stores.

The show will feature Brent Wesley, creater of Akron Honey Company located in West Akron, who is one of the eight Northeast Ohio entrepreneurs who made the cut out of an origianl list of 25.

It will be hosted by B. Bonin Bough, Advertising Hall of Fame inductee and Chief Media and eCommerce Officer for one of the largest snack food companies in the world.

"Cleveland Hustles" premiers on Wednesday, August 24 at 10 PM on CNBC.

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(CNBC, news release) Today, CNBC announced LeBron James' and Maverick Carter's selection of local judges and globally recognized C-suite host for the network's highly anticipated unscripted primetime series, "Cleveland Hustles," premiering ?Wednesday, August 24 at 10pm ET?/PT. The series teams four successful Cleveland business leaders with local entrepreneurs looking for an investment to launch their own brick-and-mortar stores. The series is set in the Gordon Square Arts District, a once troubled neighborhood that's working to rebuild.

"This show is special to me because it's about giving hard-working people a life-changing opportunity to make their dreams a reality while creating real change in the Cleveland community," said Maverick Carter. "I'm proud that SpringHill Entertainment is behind a project like this that is more than a TV show – it's a transformational series that can lift up all of Northeast Ohio and one that will resonate with people across the country."

Hostwith Global Credentials

Hosting "Cleveland Hustles" is LeBron James' and Maverick Carter's hand-picked host, B. Bonin Bough, Chief Media & eCommerce Officer for one of the largest snack food companies in the world. Bough manages one of the world's largest media budgets and is responsible for building the company's billion-dollar eCommerce business. A leader among the youngest C-level executives within Fortune 50 today, Bough is highly regarded as one of the industry's most influential marketers with his campaigns successfully growing some of the globe's largest brands. The premiere of the show also corresponds with the publication of Bough's new book "Txt Me," which explores the increasing impact mobile devices have on individuals, companies and society.

Bough's business savvy has earned him numerous accolades including an induction into the Advertising Hall of Fame, being named one of Fast Company's most creative people, and earning a spot on Fortune's 40 Under 40 list. In addition, he is a successful investor in startups and small businesses and created the very first corporate accelerator programs that have become instrumental in linking startups with other big brands to help them potentially realize their billion-dollar ambitions.

"I'm a lucky guy. For the past 15 years, I've worked in some incredible global organizations that share my passion for innovation and entrepreneurial endeavor and they have allowed me to act as agent provocateur by bringing some of the most enlightened innovators in the world into their well-oiled operations," B. Bonin Bough says. "Sometimes to disrupt, sometimes to learn - always to challenge; the bridge between scale businesses and startups is forever challenging and worthwhile. And now, Maverick has offered me the chance to bring these learnings to Cleveland. I'm delighted to work with Maverick, and with this stellar mentor panel, but above all, I'm ecstatic to be working with the entrepreneurs themselves. 'Cleveland Hustles' promises to be a new front-line for innovators and I'm honored to be part of it."

Mentorand Investor Panel from the Heart of Cleveland

LeBronJames and Maverick Carter have enlisted the help of four successful local business leaders to give the fledgling entrepreneurs the chance of a lifetime –financial backing investing their own money, expert guidance, and a storefront to launch their enterprise. The panelists have a wide range of experience, but share common ground in the Cleveland marketplace. The business leaders include:

Kumar Arora – CEO Aroridex, Ltd.
Serial entrepreneur and investor behind many notable Cleveland startups and brands, Arora has mentored over 500 startups and works with the Cleveland LauchHouse and Jumpstart Cleveland to consult and mentor local businesses.

Kathy Futey – Certified Private Wealth Advisor®, CPWA®
Futey advises high net worth individuals, business owners, and families throughout the United States; serves as a Director on many boards throughout Cleveland; and additionally is a mentor to fellow investor Kumar Arora as well as an investor in a Jonathon Sawyer restaurant. She is also an owner of a Napa Valley winery called SonkinCellars making nationally renowned Syrahs called Persona and Unmasked since 2009.

Alan Glazen – Founder of GlazenUrban, LLC/Neighborhood Developer
Born and raised in Cleveland, this former advertising innovator is often referred to as the "Mad Man" of his time. In recent years, this AAF Advertising Hall of Fame inductee has shifted his talents toward revitalizing the urban neighborhoods of Cleveland.

Jonathon Sawyer – Team Sawyer Restaurant Owner
A James Beard Award Winning chef, whose company is all about training chefs and giving them the tools they need to run their own successful businesses. Team Sawyer has graduated at least 12 chefs, who have moved on to start their own endeavors.

Cleveland Entrepreneurs Competing for a Chance of a Lifetime

After a local search, eight up-and-coming entrepreneurs were selected from a group of 25 who pitched the investors. Each investor has chosen two businesses to investigate further. They'll put these eight businesses through a series of tests before ultimately deciding on the four small companies they want to invest in and support as they take on the enormous challenge of opening storefronts in an underserved neighborhood.

Over the course of the season, viewers will see if the entrepreneurs have the ambition, creativity, and hustle necessary to succeed -- and in so doing, help a neighborhood rebuild.

The eight Cleveland-based entrepreneurs include:

Old City Soda - Sean Adkins & Mike Gulley
Randy's Pickles - Andrew Rainey
Styles of Success - Chareen Fountain
The Cleveland Bagel Co. - Geoff Hardman & Dan Herbst
The Proper Pig - Ted Dupaski & Shane Vidovic
Groundswell - Anne Harnett
FOUNT - Jaclyn & Phillip Wachter
Akron Honey Co. - Brent Wesley
"Cleveland Hustles" is produced by SpringHill Entertainment and Magical Elves with LeBron James and Maverick Carter as executive producers for SpringHill Entertainment and Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz as executive producers for Magical Elves. Jim Ackerman and Marshall Eisen are the executive producers for CNBC.

For more information, visit clevelandhustles.cnbcprime.com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @clevelandCNBC and Instagram @ClevelandHustlesCNBC.

Published in Local
Friday, 24 June 2016 06:08

VIDEO Akron Loves The King

So much to share from last night -- Akron as you've never seen it or heard it, all for King James.

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Some accounts pegged the crowd at 30,000 people but others were in the 20,000-25,000 range after Lock 3 topped capacity of more than 7,000 packed in standing room only for the LeBron James Hometown Hero Celebration sponsored by the City of Akron and LeBron James Family Foundation.

Overflow crowds on South Main Street went into Canal Park and packed every seat to watch the ceremony on the stadium's big video screen, then enjoyed the fireworks show at the conclusion.

It was an all-Akron affair and more personal, unlike the massive parade and ceremony that drew 1.3 million people to Cleveland Wednesday. Local performers included the Miller South Choir; speakers included Mayor Dan Horrigan, who renamed the stretch of South Main from West Market south through downtown as "King James Way" to formative coaches Dru Joyce II and Keith Dambrot.

Others such as Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James noted the transformative impact on Akron LeBron's had, including programs for local elementary and secondary school students but also millions allocated to support scholarships at the University of Akron.

The Kenmore High School football team was on hand in their stylish Nike uniforms -- gifts thanks to LeBron last year.

One note for the summer: LeBron announced he will not take part in the basketball competition at Rio this summer, opting instead for rest. It's not like The King has anything to prove in the Olympics; even there, he makes history with two gold and one bronze medal with Team USA, one of only three players to play three Olympics. He's also the Team USA basketball all-time leading scorer, too.

 

Published in Local

As the city begins to ready itself for the celebration of LeBron James bringing a title to Northeast Ohio,  there's plenty of excitement in the air.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan came on the Sam Bourquin Show Thursday to talk about how people can be a part of the celebration down at Lock 3 in Downtown Akron.

Mayor Horrigan says it'll be a historic event for the people of Akron and beyond to celebrate not only a championship, but a champion.

"There's been a lot of planning the last few days to get this event together," Mayor Horrigan said. "It's going to be a chance for people to celebrate with our hometown hero."

 

The event including parking is free. For live coverage of the event, listen to 1590 WAKR, WAKR.net, and check our Facebook and Twitter pages as well.

Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 23 June 2016 09:38

Joe Tait Touches On 2016 Cavs, His Health

He may not be following the Cleveland Cavaliers as close as he used to, but hall of fame broadcaster Joe Tait is happy for them. Even if he only caught just one game last season.

The long-time play-by-play man for the now-world champion Cavs joined the Ray Horner Morning Show, and he discussed the his viewing of Sunday’s historic Game 7, as well as the leadership growth in LeBron James over the years. Prior to 2016, Joe reflected on the Miracle of Richfield Cavaliers, who, in his opinion, was the best Cavs team he ever called.

In serious news, about a month ago, Joe contracted sepsis and has been in and out of the hospital. Joe says if he waited two more days to get treated, he may not be here. In addition to the blood poisoning, some cancer was discovered in his body. However, Joe says he is feeling a lot better.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 18:31

Road Closures For LeBron Celebration

There won't be over a million people in downtown Akron Thursday night for the LeBron celebration , but there will be enough to require road closures...

  • West Bowery Street between Center Street and South Main Street will be closed starting at 4:00 PM.
  • South Main Street between Mill Street and Exchange Street will be closed starting at 5:00 PM.
  • Church Street and University Avenue between High Street and South Main Street will be closed starting at 5:00.

Parking will be free at all city parking lots and parking decks...

  • Broadway Deck (120 South Broadway Street)
  • Cascade Deck (10 West Mill Street)
  • CitiCenter Deck (132 South High Street)
  • High/Market Deck (40 South High Street)
  • Morley Deck (177 South Broadway Street)
  • State St./O'Neil's Deck (11 West Mill Street)
  • Opportunity Park Deck (666 South Broadway Street)
  • Akron Centre Deck (11 West Mill Street)
  • Summit County Parking Deck (200 South High Street)

Those attending with disabilities who require special parking access are encouraged to use the Cascade and State Stree parking decks.

Gates for the event will open at 7:00 PM, and it is standing room only.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 17:35

UPDATE Akron Closures Due To Rally

There will be some closures due to the LeBron James celebration at Lock 3 on Thursday.

There will be no afternoon classes at the University of Akron due to crowds expected in Akron for the LeBron James celebration, and street closures.

Classes will resume on Friday, and those UA employees who have summer work hours will still be at work.

Akron Municipal Court will also close at noon, because access to the Stubbs building will be restricted.

Those who are scheduled to appear Thursday afternoon should appear on Friday morning at 9 instead.

(University of Akron) The University is canceling all classes that start at noon or later on Thursday, June 23, because of scheduled street closures adjacent to campus and the anticipated large crowd expected to converge on downtown Akron tomorrow for the City of Akron celebration of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Championship

The normal class schedule will resume on Friday, June 24.

Normal summer work hours for University employees will remain in effect.

(Akron Municipal Court) The Akron Municipal Court will close at 12:00 noon Thursday, June 23, 2016. Downtown access in the vicinity of the Harold K. Stubbs Building will be restricted due to the Akron Celebration scheduled for later in the day.

Please be advised and notify affected parties the Akron Municipal Court will be closed at this time. Those scheduled to appear on a summons during the afternoon of Thursday, June 23, 2016 should appear at the Court the following morning at 9:00 am on Friday, June 24, 2016. Please contact court offices at 330 375-2120 with questions or to reschedule.

Published in Local

One of the people who celebrated the win was film director and Akron native Kristopher Belman, who joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about what's been going through his mind since Sunday night's triumph.

"I can't even describe how special it was," Belman said. "To see LeBron achieve that kind of success at a young age and keep grounded all the way to now has been amazing."

Belman directed "More Than A Game" which documented LeBron's run with the "Fab 5" at STVM from their AAU days as middle-schoolers to a Ohio high school and national championship in 2003. 

He says this is something all fans can enjoy together.

For the full interview with Kris, click right here. 

'It's all about family, it's all about community," he says. 

Published in Sam and Brad

There's a new video showing the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James' arrival with the NBA championship trophy in Northeast Ohio.

The video from the UNINTERRUPTED site - created by LeBron and Maverick Carter - shows the team and LeBron bringing back the trophy to Cleveland, and then shows LeBron's return to crowds at his Bath Township home.

 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 14:07

Akron's LeBron Celebration Set

There's an official celebration for Akron's LeBron James set in his hometown.

It will be Thursday at Lock 3. Gates will open at 7 PM, and both admission and downtown parking will be free.

The event will feature LeBron, and his students from the Wheels for Education and iPromise Network programs.

(City of Akron, news release) The City of Akron in collaboration with the LeBron James Family Foundation will host a celebration for Akron's own, LeBron James on Thursday, June 23 at Lock 3. Gates open at 7 p.m.

LeBron and his students from the Wheels for Education and IPromise Network will be featured.

Additional details, including program line-up and street closures will be announced in a separate press release. Admission to the event, as well as parking downtown will be free.

Presenting sponsors currently include: Akron Children's Hospital, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Summa Health; along with supporting sponsors; Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, FirstMerit Bank, GOJO Industries, Huntington Bank and the University of Akron, and media sponsors Channel 3 News and Rubber City Radio Group.

Published in Local
Monday, 20 June 2016 15:43

VIDEO Akron Welcomes LeBron Home

Two years ago, the city of Akron welcomed LeBron James back home. On Monday, the second homecoming came with a championship.

Hundreds of fans lined up along Crystal Lake Road near the home of the MVP -- and quickly surrounded his vehicle as the song "I'm Coming Home" blared through the speakers.

"That championship last night was for everyone here in Northeast Ohio," said LeBron as he briefly stepped outside to address the crowd.

It's been a long couple of days for the King -- so it was just a few words to express his emotions as he met with hundreds of fans chanting MVP.

"I'm so tired. I haven't slept at all. I'm going to take a long nap. But before that, I just always want you guys to remember that I'm just a kid from Akron, Ohio."

It was a message that left many of fans with goosebumps.

"It's very rare that you get someone from your hometown as exquisite as that," said Josh Dickey. "We get to be here and witness it first-hand, present day."

The memorable even left Josh and Erin Dickey considering naming their unborn child after the King.

"We'll have to make a game-time decision when the baby comes," said Erin.

 

Published in Local
Monday, 20 June 2016 16:06

AUDIO Dambrot: LeBron A 'True Winner'

After 52 years of frustration, the Cleveland Cavaliers have captured the NBA title and have

University of Akron men's basketball coach Keith Dambrot joined the Sam Bourquin Show on a Victory Monday to talk about what the win meant for Northeast Ohio.

"This win was for the whole area," Dambrot said. "I mean it was for Akron, Cleveland, all the suburbs, and I think when you're from here, you really understand it."

He said he was happy for LeBron on many levels, saying he willed his team to win, despite not having his absolute best game, but his defensive presence and smart play led to a Game 7 win.

For the full interview with Coach Dambrot, click here.

Published in Sam and Brad
It happened. It actually happened. After more than a half-century, a Cleveland sports team took home the title, and it was done in dramatic fashion.

The dramatics mostly came from Akron’s own LeBron James. His long-time coach Dru Joyce II joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk in depth about his former player, who took home his third championship trophy. Coach Joyce stresses that LeBron did not just fall into this talent; it took a painstaking work ethic and an other-worldly basketball IQ.

Joyce coached James in his junior and senior seasons at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Monday, 20 June 2016 00:38

LeBron, Cavs Bring Home NBA Title

"Just a kid from Akron." 

LeBron James will always be "a kid from Akron," but those who share his hometown feel differently. He's the kid from Akron who led his basketball team to an NBA title -- ending Cleveland's 52-year sports drought. 

Inside St. Vincent - St. Mary High School, hundreds of fans came out to watch LeBron and his teammates capture the NBA title inside the Lebron James Arena.

"I'm completely speechless. I love that he said he's bringing the trophy home," said Stacey Hentosz. 

Emotions were high inside the same court where LeBron made headlines as a young superstar. One man fell to his knees to reveal an emotional celebration following the win and LeBron being named Most Valuable Player. 

Willie McGee, SVSM athletic director and LeBron's former high school teammate, said it was only fitting to hold a watch party at LeBron's alma mater. McGee said LeBron has given back a lot to the community and it was the community's turn to offer support.  

Published in Local

If you were looking to go to Sunday night's Cavs Watch Party, you're out of luck both inside and outside the Q... because they're out of tickets. But there's another option in Akron.

But there will be a watch party for Sunday's NBA Finals Game 7 here in LeBron James' hometown of Akron, at his high school home arena.

The Cavs Watch Party at St. Vincent-St. Mary's LeBron James Arena on Sunday night. Admission will be $5 for adults and free for St. V students and children under 13.

Tickets will be sold at the door only - doors open at 7:15, and the game starts at 8.

There'll be a 20 x 12 screen brought in.

LeBron James Arena seats about 1,800 people, so those tickets will probably go fast.

Akron city officals are suggesting that fans watch Sunday night's game by patronizing establishments in the city...and it's probably likely that anywhere with a TV will be showing the game.

(St. Vincent-St. Mary alumni Facebook page) ATTENTION ALL STVM STUDENTS, FAMILIES, ALUMNI, AND FRIENDS

We will be hosting a CAVS WATCH PARTY for Game 7 of the NBA finals! Join your STVM friends, support alumnus LeBron James VM03, and ?#?witness? this moment in history at The LeBron James Arena!

Doors open at 7:15PM. Game starts at 8PM. Admission is $5 per adult. STVM students and children under 13 are FREE. Tickets sold at the door only!

The folks at FunFlicks Ohio Outdoor Movies are bringing in a 20x12 ft screen for an amazing viewing experience!

Published in Local

The NBA was busy on it's Sunday day off between the NBA Finals Game Four and Game Five with decisions that sideline the Warrior's Draymond Green, assessing a technical foul against LeBron James and digging $25,000 from Cavaliers Coach Ty Lue for daring to question the officiating from Game 4's Cleveland loss to Golden State.

In Green's case, it wasn't just the dust-up with James from Friday night's game but the last straw in a lead-up of bad boy actions. James received the technical foul for his part in the late-game confrontation.

 

(NBA.com) Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been assessed a Flagrant Foul 1 upon league office review, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

In accordance with NBA rules, Green will serve a one-game suspension without pay for accruing his fourth Flagrant Foul point of the 2016 postseason. He will serve his suspension Monday, June 13 during Game 5 of The Finals at Oracle Arena.

The incident occurred when Green made unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 108-97 win in Game 4 of The Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Under league rules, any player who accumulates four flagrant foul points over the course of the playoffs will be automatically suspended for one game, and every additional flagrant foul will result in either a one-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 1) or a two-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 2). “The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game” said VanDeWeghe. “While Draymond Green’s actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game 5.”

James has been assessed a technical foul upon league office review for his role in the altercation, which included a physical taunt.

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(NBA.com) Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations. Lue made his comments during the postgame press conference following the Golden State Warriors’ 108-97 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 4 of The Finals on June 10 at Quicken Loans Arena. 
Published in Local
Monday, 04 April 2016 16:45

LeBron's Player of the Week - Again

LeBron James has picked up yet another NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week award, his fifth in the 2015-2016 season, his 34th as a Cavalier and 53rd total.

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(Cleveland Cavaliers, news release) The NBA announced today that Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been named the Eastern Conference Player of Week for games played Monday, March 28, through Sunday, April 3. This marks the fifth time this season James has earned Player of the Week accolades, as well as the 53rd time in his career, the most in NBA history. It also marks the 53rd time in franchise history a player has earned Player of the Week honors and the 34th time James has earned the honor as a member of the Cavaliers.

James played in three games this past week for Cleveland (all wins), averaging a near triple-double with 28.0 points on .576 shooting from the field, 9.3 rebounds, 10.7 assists and 2.3 steals in 38.7 minutes per contest. He led the Eastern Conference in points per game (28.0), while ranking second in assists per game (10.7), second in plus/minus (+44), tied for third in double-doubles (3), tied for seventh in steals per game (2.3) and ninth in rebounds per game (9.3). The 12-time NBA All-Star was the only player in the league to average at least 20.0 points and 10.0 assists while shooting .500 or better.

James, who recorded a double-double and scored 20 points or more in each of his three games, started the week off with 24 points on 8-11 (.727) shooting, seven rebounds, 11 assists, two steals and one block in 31 minutes during Cleveland's 107-87 win over Brooklyn on March 31. With his basket at the 3:52 mark in the first quarter, he surpassed Dominique Wilkins (26,668) for 12th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. The following night, James moved past Oscar Robertson (26,710) for 11th place all-time in scoring while recording 29 points, a season-high 16 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and one block in 44 minutes of the Cavs' 110-108 overtime victory over Atlanta on April 1. James closed out the week with his 28th double-double of the season after tallying 31 points on 14-22 (.636) shooting, eight rebounds, 12 assists and two steals in 41 minutes during a 112-103 victory over Charlotte on April 3.

In 2015-16, James has appeared in 73 games (all starts) with averages of 25.2 points (sixth in NBA) on .512 shooting from the field, 7.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists (ninth in NBA) and 1.4 steals in 35.7 minutes per game. His five player of the week awards this season are the most in the Eastern Conference and tied for the most in the NBA. James and the Cavaliers currently sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 55-22 record.

J.J. Barea of the Dallas Mavericks was named the Western Conference Player of the Week.

Published in Local
Friday, 01 April 2016 16:55

LeBron Heading Up CNBC Reality Series

LeBron James' TV empire is expanding.

A new unscripted CNBC series called "Cleveland Hustles" will set up four budding entrepreneurs with LeBron and friend and business partner Maverick Carter.

They'll get financial help and advice from LeBron and Maverick, and a storefront to see if they succeed at their own dreams and to help out a Cleveland neighborhood.

"Cleveland Hustles" premieres August 24th on CNBC.

It'll be co-produced by LeBron's SpringHill Entertainment.

(CNBC news release) In this new unscripted series set in Cleveland, Ohio, NBA superstar LeBron James and his longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter will give four up and coming local entrepreneurs the chance to realize their own dreams while also helping to revitalize a neighborhood in Cleveland. Four of LeBron's and Maverick's trusted business experts will be enlisted to help give the fledgling entrepreneurs the chance of a lifetime – financial backing, expert guidance, and a storefront to launch their enterprise. Over the course of the season, viewers will see if the entrepreneurs have the ambition, creativity, and hustle necessary to succeed -- and in so doing, help a neighborhood that desperately needs investment. "Cleveland Hustles" is produced by SpringHill Entertainment and Magical Elves with LeBron James and Maverick Carter as executive producers for SpringHill Entertainment and Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz as executive producers for Magical Elves. Jim Ackerman and Marshall Eisen are the executive producers for CNBC.

Published in Local

It's almost old hat for LeBron James...the NBA has named him the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for February.

It's the 30th such award for LeBron in his career.

(NBA/Cleveland Cavaliers) The NBA announced today that Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been named the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for games played in February 2016. This marks the 18th time a Cavs player has earned Player of the Month honors and James' 30th, the most in NBA history.

In the month of February, James appeared in 12 games (8-4) for the Cavs and averaged an Eastern Conference-best 24.8 points, to go along with 7.4 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.7 steals in 36.8 minutes per game. In addition to leading the East in scoring last month, James led the conference in field goals made (117) and was tied for second in assists per game (7.3). He also ranked fourth in total points (267), fifth in plus/minus (+80), tied for eighth in steals per game (1.67), tied for 13th in double-doubles (4) and 20th in rebounds per game (7.4). The 12-time NBA All-Star had four double-doubles, which includes a triple-double performance in a 120-100 win over Sacramento on Feb. 8 (21 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists).

James was the only player in the East to average at least 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in February, and one of just two players in the NBA to accomplish that feat (Russell Westbrook). He topped at least 20 points in 11 of his 12 February appearances, including two 30-point outings. He also shot at least .500 from the field on eight occasions and had eight games with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.

The 6-8 forward had several historical achievements throughout February. He recently moved past Moses Malone (9,435) for 19th all-time in field goals made with his second field goal against Chicago on Feb. 18. He surpassed Paul Pierce for 15th place on the NBA all-time scoring list with his layup at the 3:59 mark of the first quarter against the L.A. Lakers on Feb. 10. Before that, he past Kevin Garnett (26,071) for 16th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list with his field goal at the 3:07 mark of the third quarter at Charlotte on Feb. 3. Earlier in February, James became the 19th player in league history to make 6,000 career free throws with his 11th make against Boston on Feb. 5.

In 57 games (all starts) this season, James is averaging 24.9 points (sixth in NBA) on .505 shooting from the field, 7.2 rebounds, 6.6 assists (11th in NBA) and 1.4 steals in 35.9 minutes per game. James and the Cavaliers are an Eastern Conference-best 42-17 on the season, which includes a 25-5 mark at Quicken Loans Arena.
Golden State's Stephen Curry won Player of the Month accolades for the Western Conference.

Published in Local

The late Brenda Weems may be known to some as LeBron James' godmother -- but to her family and friends she was a caring woman who left behind a legacy that continues to touch the lives of those in the Akron community. 

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On Tuesday afternoon, she was also the reason so many came together to dedicate a new dialysis unit on White Pond Drive in her name. Weems was a longtime dialysis nurse with Fresenuis Medical Care. In April of 2006, Weems passed away at the age of 45 after her battle with cancer.

"To see that impact that she had on all of the people she came across, it's just unbelievable," said Weems' son Brandon. "It's a very emotional day."

Brandon was just one of dozens of family members who came out to the dedication ceremony to honor his mother's legacy. While some recognize Brenda Weems as LeBron's godmother, the ceremony helped to shine a light on Weems' unconditional love for taking care of the community. Weems was a registered nurse for over 20 years.

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"It's just the whole city of Akron," said Brandon. "Everywhere you go, if they know you're a Weems they immediately go to Brenda. She was just so big in the community. Her names rings everywhere."

Fresenius regional vice-president Jamie Stanos said you didn't have to look far to understand why Weems was adored by so many.

"She was the gold standard by which everybody measured themselves as a nurse and a technician," said Stanos.

 

Published in Local

LeBron James is keeping busy on and off the court. The LeBron James Family Foundation just announced that the King has teamed up Little Tikes to make a line of sports toys, including a number of basketball hoops.

A donation will be made to the foundation with each product sold. It'll debut in Toys"R"Us stores nationwide in April.

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(LeBron James Family Foundation: News Release) MGA Entertainment, the world's leading private toy company and parent company of Little Tikes, has partnered with the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) to offer a new line of co-branded licensed sports toys. The first items from the line, the Mini Hoop basketball set and the Dream Big basketball set, are now available for presale exclusively at Toysrus.com, and will debut in Toys"R"Us® stores nationwide in April. A donation will be made to the Foundation with each product sold.

"To this day, I still have a Little Tikes hoop sitting in my house just because of all the days I spent playing on it as a kid. It's one of the first gifts you get when you are old enough to do that," said LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers forward and founder of the LeBron James Family Foundation. "That's where I honed my skills. If it wasn't for that Little Tikes hoop, I wouldn't be who I am today."

The LeBron James Family Foundation, based in Akron, Ohio, encourages kids to stay in school, promise to graduate and to give back to their community. Last August, the Foundation announced a partnership with The University of Akron to provide qualifying students who graduate through the program a full four-year scholarship. Covering all students currently enrolled in the program, as well as the next four incoming classes, an estimated 2300 Akron inner-city students can potentially benefit. To encourage parent engagement in their child's education, the Foundation also offers a program called "I PROMISE, Too," to help the parents of LJFF students earn their GEDs.

"Our Little Tikes factory is right outside Akron, just a stone's throw from where LeBron learned to dunk on a Little Tikes hoop as a child," said Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment. "When we heard about the amazing mission of LeBron and the Foundation, we knew right away we wanted to collaborate so that we too could give back to the families in the Akron community."

The Little Tikes team is dedicated to fostering active and imaginative play with values that align directly with those of the LeBron James Family Foundation.

"We are beyond excited to partner with MGA Entertainment's Little Tikes brand to offer the first ever LeBron James Family Foundation branded line of sports equipment for kids," said Michele Campbell, executive director, LeBron James Family Foundation. "We encourage the students in our program to dream big, to be active, and to have fun, and this partnership with Little Tikes exemplifies all of that."

Little Tikes LeBron James Family Foundation toys will be available exclusively at Toys"R"Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com, as well as LittleTikes.com this spring, just in time for the NBA playoffs. Additionally, the assortment will become available at multiple retailers this fall.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:43

LeBron: Hopes Johnny Gets It Right

LeBron James is weighing in on Johnny Manziel, after reports that Johnny was "Johnny Party", who was allegedly in disguise in Las Vegas the day before the Browns' final game of the year.

Manziel is in the fold of LeBron's marketing company, LRMR.

Before the Cavaliers played the Washington Wizards...LeBron was asked by reporters in Washington about the latest Johnny news.

"I think it's more of a concern for him individually," James told reporters in Washington D.C. before Wednesday's shootaround. "I'm not sure, I don't know all of the details on it, I really haven't really been all up on it, but I've heard a little about it and it's sort of a distraction."

LeBron says he hopes Johnny will get things put together.

"It's just a distraction for not only himself, but for everyone that's around him, including family, people that represent him, people that are around him," LeBron said. "He'll figure it out at some point, we all hope."

The line of Johnny Manziel questioning started with reporters asking him if he used an alias when he visits Las Vegas.

No, LeBron says, he's just himself.

Published in Local
Monday, 07 December 2015 17:44

LeBron Signs Lifetime Deal With Nike

LeBron James and Nike are hooking up for life.

Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that LeBron has signed a "guaranteed, life time endorsement deal" with the shoe and athletic giant that has been his partner for his entire NBA career.

A source tells Cleveland.com that the deal was "the largest" financial deal between Nike and an athlete in the company's history.

The deal is reportedly "multiple times" a $30 million a year 10-year deal with Kevin Durant.

LeBron's signature shoe sales earned $340 million dollars for Nike last year.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 16:28

LeBron Branches Out: Game Show Producer

LeBron James is branching out as a TV producer - producing a new NBC game show.

"The Wall" will star Chris Hardwick of Comedy Central's "@Midnight", and be produced by LeBron's SpringHill Entertainment.

The ten episode game show will air in primetime on NBC.

LeBron says in a statement that "The Wall" is "different than anything on TV right now" and is a show families can watch together.

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(NBC/SpringHill Entertainment, news release) NBC has named actor, comedian, author and TV personality Chris Hardwick as host and executive producer of the network's new 10-episode primetime game show series "The Wall."

From NBA superstar and global icon LeBron James' and Maverick Carter's SpringHill Entertainment and Glassman Media, this unique network series will feature two-person teams that are bonded together by family, friendship or life experiences. They will compete for life-changing amounts of cash that can be won or lost in an instant, depending upon whether a ball bounces your way, or a trivia question is answered correctly.

Teams of deserving competitors will can range from a close knit father and daughter duo, to a wife and her heroic Marine husband who upon returning helped his trusted translator become a U.S., citizen, and to a churchgoer who gave her car to a woman so she wouldn't have to walk long distances.

Like life itself, the game is unpredictable. A ball will come down a wall made up of a field of pegs, with each row offset from the previous row. At the bottom of the board are slots marked symmetrically with monetary values.

If one member of the team answers a question correctly, the ball turns green and the team will earn cash based on the value of that slot. If the question is answered incorrectly, the ball turns red and the team will lose cash based on the value of the slot.

"I'm excited about this series because it's different than anything on TV right now. It's got everything — excitement, drama, and action — and it's something the entire family can watch and root for together. I believe Chris Hardwick brings all of that together in a really entertaining way that people will enjoy," said James. "For SpringHill Entertainment, it's about creating quality and innovative content for all types of audiences, and I'm proud of the exciting projects we continue to be a part of."

Said Hardwick: "I love game shows, and partnering with LeBron James and NBC to potentially give away millions of dollars to people who deserve it is an incredible opportunity. (I'm sorry, NBC, I'm hoping to give away a lot of your money.)"

"'The Wall' is a bit like life, it rewards people who are both smart and lucky. It's a game that's had us on the edge of our seats, and Chris Hardwick is a brilliantly witty and warm host," said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.

"The Wall" was developed by Glassman Media in conjunction with CORE Media.

Hardwick is founder and CEO of Nerdist Industries and hosts the extremely popular Nerdist Podcast, which garners over 5.8 million downloads per month. He also hosts the Emmy Award-winning Comedy Central series "@Midnight with Chris Hardwick" and hosts the Emmy-nominated "The Walking Dead" discussion show "Talking Dead," now in its fifth season on AMC. He continues to perform stand-up to sold-out audiences as part of his 50-city Funcomfortable Tour and lends his voice as Craig in the Nickelodeon animated series "Sanjay and Craig."

"The Wall" is a collaboration between SpringHill Entertainment and Glassman Media with James, Hardwick, Carter and Andrew Glassman serving as executive producers. Other groundbreaking SpringHill projects include Starz breakout series "Survivor's Remorse" that has been renewed for a third season, Disney XD's inspirational series for kids and families "Becoming," and an upcoming reality series for Esquire Network.

Glassman Media was founded by Andrew Glassman following his successful career as an Emmy Award-winning investigative broadcast journalist during which he appeared on-air at NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, WCAU and WNBC. Glassman's credits include NBC's hit "Average Joe," whose first season finale attracted more than 25 million viewers and the critically acclaimed "Three Wishes" also on NBC.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 21:38

LeBron Brings The First Lady To Akron

A two-time NBA champion and the wife of the most powerful man in the country sure do know how to make an impact. 

Thousands of students involved in LeBron James' "Wheels For Eduction" and "I Promise" programs and their families packed the James A. Rhodes arena on the University of Akron campus Wednesday afternoon to take a pledge to complete their education.

The Cavaliers star, who recently announced that he has partnered with the University of Akron to provide scholarships for students in the LeBron James Family Foundation who graduate high school, wants everyone to get involved with investing in the future of our youth.

"I want each and every one of you, not just the kids, but also the parents and the teachers and the mentors and whoever is around these kids every single day, to understand that we are family and we are going to continue to look after each other on becoming as great as we can be," he said.

LeBron even brought a special guest with him to his hometown . First Lady Michelle Obama told the kids that she and LeBron are no strangers to overcoming obstacles at a young age.

"We were kids just like you, and we didn't come from places where families had a lot of money and a lot of resources," said Obama. "We know how amazing you all are and the things that you can do with your lives because we're standing here, and if we can be here we know you can too."

Obama also illustrated the importance of higher education.

"Imagine yourself succeeding here and walking across the stage and getting your college diploma," she said. "Start envisioning that for yourself now, because you all have to get an education beyond high school. You have to."

A new social media campaign, known as "Better Make Room", was introduced by Obama to allow children to share their dreams and aspirations with others all around the world.

The event concluded with both LeBron and The First Lady reciting the "I Promise Pledge" with the crowd, asking them to accept the challenge to finish school.

Published in Local

The Cavaliers have two preseason games left - and at least one won't see LeBron James in the lineup.

LeBron got an anti-inflammatory injection in his back this week.

He says that's just a normal thing as he gets ready to start the season.

"We had already known looking at the schedule, looking at the preseason schedule, that we were going to do that," James said after Friday's shootaround. "And it's all part of my maintenance program in the preseason."

He says he doesn't know which of the team's remaining two preseason games he'll miss. But head coach David Blatt says Kevin Love is expected to play on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors.

LeBron says with the team's injuries through preseason, the team's chemistry and high level of play will take time to develop.

The Cavaliers start the regular season October 27th in Chicago, where they'll open up against the Bulls.

Published in Local

The First Lady will be in Akron next week alongside LeBron James.

Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that Michelle Obama will join LeBron at a University of Akron event next Wednesday for students and parents involved in his "Wheels For Education" and "I Promise" programs.

The early word comes from a White House advisory, and more details on the Michelle Obama trip will come out in the coming days.

The First Lady has her own "Reach Higher" initiative, designed to encourage students to expand their education after high school.

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On the Web: Northeast Ohio Media Group, www.cleveland.com

 

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