LeBron James Is 'So Proud' of the First Student from His I Promise School to Become a College Graduate

"If it wasn't for the LeBron James Family Foundation, I don’t know if I would have gone to college," Anthony Claytor said

<p>Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty</p> LeBron James in 2023

Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty

LeBron James in 2023

NBA star LeBron James may be world famous for his moves on the court, but he also has his hands in the world of education courtesy of his I PROMISE school — which reached a major milestone after its first student officially becoming a college graduate.

Anthony Claytor was one of the I PROMISE Program’s original third grade students who later attended college on an I PROMISE scholarship. In May, the 21-year-old graduated early from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts in criminology and justice studies and a minor in sociology, the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) announced via press release.

“If it wasn't for the LeBron James Family Foundation, I don’t know if I would have gone to college,” Claytor said, per the LJFF. “I don’t know where I would be.”

James celebrated the news on social media. "CONGRATULATIONS ANTHONY!!!! SO PROUD OF YOU YOUNG [KING],” he posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) alongside a video of Claytor's commencement.

<p>Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty</p> CENTER: LeBron James at I PROMISE grand opening in 2018

Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty

CENTER: LeBron James at I PROMISE grand opening in 2018

Per the LJFF and Kent State University, the institute's president, Todd Diacon, announced in 2020 that a group of I PROMISE students would receive four years of tuition and one year of room and board. Claytor, who is from Akron, Ohio, was one of those recipients before becoming the first of his class to graduate.

Prior to getting into Kent State, he pulled double duty and attended postsecondary classes at the University of Akron while he was still in high school. As a result, he earned sophomore credits by the time he enrolled in the university, the institution and LJFF said.

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“If I went to the University of Akron or somewhere else, I wouldn’t have been able to live on campus and meet new people, develop relationships or join organizations,” Claytor, who previously worried about the debt associated with tuition costs, said, per the release. “I really enjoy being able to do that at Kent State.”

Claytor, whose ultimate post-collegiate goal is to be a Secret Service agent, said that I PROMISE was more than just financial support, and that the program also helped him make valuable connections.

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<p>MediaPunch/Shutterstock</p> I PROMISE school in 2021


I PROMISE school in 2021

“There was more help financially, specifically with tuition and books,” he said. “These programs also provided me access to different scholarships and internships. Overall, it made campus a lot easier to navigate.”

The I PROMISE program was founded in 2018 and serves more than 1,400 Akron-area students, providing them with the programs, support and mentors they need to succeed in school and beyond, according to its website.

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