Team LeBron Will Play for Kent State’s I Promise Scholars in 2022 NBA All-Star Game

As part of NBA All-Star 2022, team captains LeBron James and Kevin Durant selected the two Northeast Ohio-based charity beneficiaries their teams will play for during the All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 20. 

Team LeBron will play for Kent State’s I Promise Scholars, a program that provides higher education opportunities for underserved students in Northeast Ohio. The competition between the NBA’s top players will lead directly to much needed support to current and future Kent State University I Promise students.


Captained by four-time NBA Champion and Northeast Ohio native James, Team LeBron will compete against Team Durant, which is representing the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Following the NBA’s All-Star Game format, each captain’s charity will automatically receive a $150,000 donation before the game tips off. Then, the two teams will compete during the first three quarters to win an additional $100,000 per quarter for their beneficiary. The untimed fourth quarter will be played to a final target score, and the team who reaches the score first will receive an additional $150,000. In total, nearly $1 million will be donated to both charities through the game and other partner efforts. 

The funds raised by Team LeBron will support important education expenses such as books, supplies, room and board, and other needs that are critical to the success of I Promise students residing on the Kent Campus. 

“We have already seen the impressive results that the I Promise Program is having on its participating students,” said Melody Tankersley, Ph.D., Kent State’s senior vice president and provost. “We are so pleased that Kent State is the next step in the educational journey of these amazing young people, and so happy that we can start them on their way to exciting careers and lives full of inspiration.”

Kent State welcomed the first class of I Promise Scholars last fall. The students receive tutoring, mentoring, personal development opportunities, student employment and other resources to help them succeed and reach their dreams of a college degree. Kent State is a national leader in award-winning student support services to help students earn a college degree. 

The partnership with Kent State includes guaranteed tuition for four years and a minimum of one year room and a meal plan. The program was born out of an existing partnership between Kent State and the LeBron James Family Foundation in which I Promise students attend summer enrichment college preparation programs at the university.

Kent State intends to offer the same opportunity to subsequent I Promise classes as well. Students will participate in summer and academic year experiences leading up to their senior year of high school. In partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation, these pre-college efforts position students to be able to take full advantage of great opportunities. 

“These are students who have everything to give to our community, but unfortunately they face challenges and barriers that can keep them from being able to contribute in the ways that we know and they know they can,” said Eboni Pringle, Ph.D., dean of Kent State’s University College. “So we want to make sure that we help them navigate over and around all of the barriers and challenges they are facing so they can be the citizens that they want to be.”

The 2022 NBA All-Star Game will be held at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. Last year, Team LeBron played for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund during the NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta.

To learn more about the success of our Kent State I Promise students and how these funds will help them in their journey to a college degree, visit To make a gift to support the I Promise Scholars at Kent State, visit


POSTED: Friday, February 11, 2022 10:52 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 05:04 PM