Three years ago, LeBron James and his foundation met with the Akron Public Schools board to form a new school that focuses on at-risk students. In his hometown of Akron, Ohio, James and his team made headlines by establishing the I Promise School, a continuation of his 2011 program of the same name.
To commemorate this stride in education, James’ longtime brand partner Nike teamed up to create a new colorway of the three-time NBA champion’s 17s, leading Nike to note the action was “fueled by” the Los Angeles Laker’s dedication to revamping the education system in Akron.
“His passionate optimism is characterized in the shoe’s colorful, kaleidoscopic upper and outsole,” the statement reads. “The LeBron James Family Foundation crown is on the tongue, while aspirational phrases, such as ‘I promise I will dream big,’ appear on the laces. Nike proudly supports the mission of the I Promise School through a charitable donation to the LeBron James Family Foundation.”
According to The New York Times, the school’s 240 students performed exceedingly well—primarily those within the third and fourth grades—a year after the school opened. “When we first started, people knew I was opening a school for kids,” James said to the publication. “Now people are going to really understand the lack of education they had before they came to our school. People are going to finally understand what goes on behind our doors.”
The kicks make its debut on Jan. 21.