For several weeks now, the sporting world has been a churning mess of speculation over which NBA team LeBron James will decide to play for next. Both New York and Miami are reportedly hot in the running — but we won't truly know until tonight at 9 p.m. when the 25-year-old announces his decision on live TV.
Beyond the economic incentives that are sure to come to the city that lands LeBron, there's also a lesser-discussed, but equally important benefit to local charities.
Stars the caliber of LeBron can bring incredible awareness to nonprofits, and the initiatives they support. They draw crowds — and often open wallets — to get behind worthwhile events and fund projects that make a difference.
Based on past campaigns, we know LeBron enjoys working on projects that focus on the environment and health. In particular, he's passionate about educating children on the importance of each — and how small changes can make a big difference.
"We're trying to get kids out of the house,'' LeBron said while making a PSA for Nickelodeon's Big Green Help campaign. "Get outside, ride bikes, play hoops. And in this, we're trying to save water and do other things that can help the environment. ... It doesn't take much to recycle a can or turn the faucet off.''
"They are our future,'' he added. "You never forget things when you're a kid, so every time I do something, I like to have it involve kids. I was at my basketball camp earlier and the memories those kids made are going to stay with them the rest of their lives. What I do is kid-driven. I don't do it because I have to. I want to.''
So, whether it's Miami, New York, or some other surprise city — there's sure to be some yelping and whooping from not only fans, but also those out there making a difference. No doubt there will be some courting of a different kind to attract LeBron's attention to a cause; but instead of dollars and championships, the success will instead be measured in the smiles of children and a healthier world for them to grow up in.