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LeBron James To Open 'I PROMISE' School For At-Risk Students In Ohio

Find out how the Cavalier's franchise player plans to break barriers with I PROMISE school in his hometown.

Akron’s hometown, hardwood hero is delivering residents another gift in the form of education. LeBron James is in the works of developing and building his own school, I PROMISE, in a partnership with his LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron’s public schools. Announced Tuesday (Apr. 11) on the foundation’s Facebook page, the school will cater to children from the first to eighth grades and offer a four-year scholarship to those students who qualify.

The school is set to open its doors during the fall of 2018 and will drive a “STEM/Problem-Based Learning focus” in communion with the foundation’s “‘We Are Family’ philosophy” in order to cultivate a home for its students and families.

James recently served as one of the faces of Verizon’s #WeNeedMore campaign alongside model, Adriana Lima and New Orleans quarterback, Drew Brees. The focus of the campaign was to raise awareness to the nine million jobs available in STEM fields, hopefully filling these spots. The Cavaliers' forward took it a step forward and offered his own Instagram post to expand on his connection to the campaign. So there’s no surprise in the targeted focus of the I PROMISE school.

We don’t need more LeBron’s, we need more physical therapists, scientists, police officers, teachers, doctors, professors, physicists, computer engineers, etc!! I want every kid to know there is absolutely NO LIMIT to what you can be. Your dreams are there for you to EARN. The teacher/accountant/scientist/dr/etc is just as talented as any athlete, if not more. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how many incredible men & women I work with who have never seen the court but are just as vital to our success as I am. There’s no way my game is what it is without them. Open your heart & mind to the world around you. See the possible. Dream big. Then work your tail off and chase it. s/o to everyone involved in #weneedmore. #striveforgreatness #earnednotgiven

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

The new school will be an extension of the foundation’s elementary and secondary education programs of the same name. The program “wraps its arms” around kids who begin to fall behind in comparison to their peers to provide them “the resources, mentorship, and encouragement they need to stay on track.”

James has attested that working with the kids through the program taught the foundation what works and motivates the young scholars. The franchise player claims, “... now we can bring all of that together in one place along with the right resources and experts. If we get to them early enough, we can hopefully keep them on the right track to a bigger and brighter future for themselves and their families.”

James is probably one of the best athletes to embark on this endeavor, partly due to his related upbringing and his ability to use his basketball platform to diversify his business ventures, while giving back to the communities dearest to him. The Akron native secured a lifetime deal with Nike, became an investor in pizza franchise, Blaze, and has co-founded Springhill Entertainment which has deals with the likes of Disney, Showtime and NBC. He not only talks the talk, but walks the walk, and then an extra victory lap.

The superintendent of Akron’s Public Schools, David James had this to say about the forthcoming opening: “We are excited about the potential of the I PROMISE School to provide specialized programming and invaluable resources for our students.” He continues, “We've seen the positive influence of the LeBron James Family Foundation on our students and we look forward to continuing to do everything we can to put our students in a position to be successful.''

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Freeway Reveals Death Of 20-Year-Old Son, Jihad

Freeway is mourning the death of his beloved son, Jihad Pridgen.

The Philly native shared the devastating news on Instagram on Thursday (Oct. 29). “God knows I try my best to be strong, but this right here is a pain like I never felt,” he captioned a graduation photo of his son. “Please cherish your time and your [loved] ones because we’re not [promised] the next breath. I Pray Allah forgives my son for all of his sins and I pray that Allah grants him the highest level of paradise.”

The Muslim rapper did not go into detail about how his son passed away. In closing, he asked fans to make dua (an Islamic invocation) for his son and family. Jihad, 20, was following in his father’s footsteps in becoming a rapper. He went by the stage name “Snowhadd.”

 

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God knows I try my best to be strong, but this right here is a pain like I never felt. Please cherish your time and your love ones because we’re not promise the next breath. I Pray Allah forgives my son for all Of his sins and I pray that Allah grants him the highest level of paradise. Ameen 😢 Please make dua for him & my family.

A post shared by Freeway (@phillyfreeway) on Oct 29, 2020 at 3:28am PDT

New’s of Jihad’s death follows the death of the son of fellow State Property member and former Roc-A-Fella rapper, Oschino Vasquez.  “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Devastation at its finest,” the grieving father wrote on Instagram revealing that Freeway attended his son’s funeral last week. “Then I got that bad news. What [are] the chances that [we] both lose our sons. F*ck rap beef that’s fake sh*t. This is real life. I’ve never been depressed before but I [am] now.”

The cause of death is unclear, but according to varying reports, Oschino’s son and his son's pregnant girlfriend may have passed away in a car accident.

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Kenya Barris To Make Directorial Debut With Richard Pryor Biopic

Kenya Barris has signed on to write and direct a forthcoming biopic on Richard Pryor for MGM. The movie studio acquired the film in a heated bidding war, Deadline reports.

The biopic will mark Barris’ directorial debut. In addition to directing and penning the script, the Black-Ish creator will also produce the film through his company, Khalabo Ink Society. Additional producers include Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, through her Tarnished Angel imprint, and Tory Metzger for Levantine Films.

“The way Pryor did what he did — with truth and specificity that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and said with an unmatched level of vulnerability – that was the power and impact of his work,” Barris said in a statement. “Pryor had a voice that was distinctly his and, in many ways, comedy since then has been derivative of what he created. To me, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be.”

There have been several attempts to bring Pryor’s story to the big screen, including in 2016 when The Weinstein Company teamed with Jennifer and Lee Daniels on a script by Oscar-winning screenwriter Bill Condon. Mike Epps was slated to start as the comic legend, and Oprah Winfrey was going to play his grandmother, Eddie Murphy as his father, and Kate Hudson at Jennifer.

Pryor began his comedy career in the early 1960s playing local clubs around New York. By the following decade, Pryor rose up the ranks to become one of the most popular Black comedians in the genre appearing in films like Lady Sings the Blues, The Mack, Uptown Saturday Night, Car Wash, Harlem Nights, and The Wiz. Pryor was also a talented writer and producer (he wrote his stand-up comedy specials as well as other shows such as Sanford & Son, The Richard Pryor Show).

The 65-year-old comedian passed away from Parkinson’s Disease in 2005.

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Beenie Man Speaks Out After Fainting At Mother’s Funeral

Beenie Man broke his silence amid rumors that he was hospitalized after fainting at his mother’s funeral. Footage of the dancehall icon passing out in front of his mother's casket began circulating the web last weekend.

In a heartfelt message posted on social media on Wednesday (Oct. 27), the dancehall star thanked well-wishers, and poured out his grief. “One Sunday, October 25th I laid my Mom to rest. It was by far and still is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do,” he explained. “Leading up to the day of the funeral I was [physically] involved in every aspect of the planning an execution.”

Beenie’s mother, Lilieth Sewell, suffered a stroke in July. Her health began declining after she was released from the hospital.  She passed away in September at age 63.

“I kept telling myself, maybe if it remained active I will be able to function,” Beenie said. “Unfortunately, when it came down to that very last moment, it hit me and hit very hards. This would be the last time I would see my mom. Despite the noise, the singing, the mourning, all I could hear was silence while watching my mom’s body being lowered into the tomb.

“My heart broke and I blacked out for a few minutes,” he continues. “When I revived, I saw my closet friends and family were around me.”

The Grammy winner added that he was not “hospitalized,” but was comforted by friends and family. “Please continue to pray for us as we heal and moved forward.”

Read his full statement below.

pic.twitter.com/frzvivfDse

— Beenie Man (@KingBeenieMan) October 27, 2020

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