The Y.O.U. Winter Alumni Event was a success! Former program participants were treated to dinner, a Cleveland Cavaliers game (and win), and some up close and personal time with Dwyane Wade and the King himself, LeBron James.
At each of their home games, the Cavs allow select attendees to create a “Hi5” tunnel players walk through as they begin warm-ups for the second half of the game. Y.O.U. alumni were chosen to build the tunnel and come face to face with a local hero.
“I was excited and nervous to be that close to LeBron,” says Charles Matthews, a 2017 graduate of Glenville High School and former E CITY student. “I mean, it’s LeBron James!”
Although he seldom talks about it, LeBron’s upbringing in the inner city area of Akron was similar to that of many Y.O.U. participants. LeBron’s story is not lost on Charles, who sees the “kid from Akron” not only as the NBA’s most dynamic player but also proof positive that hard work can and will pay off.
“It tells me to continue to work hard, to push,” Charles explains. “I know if I keep working, I can be in the same spot he is, successful. I just have to keep working. He proves that.”
We thank the Cleveland Cavaliers for allowing our youth to be a part of the “Hi5” tunnel. A special thank you goes to LeBron James for continually striving for greatness and showing youth that barriers can be overcome with hard work, dedication, and an unshakable spirit.
Y.O.U. holds two alumni events each year. If you were in JOG, E CITY, JUMP, Prime Time, Health Horizons, or Quantum programs through Youth Opportunities Unlimited, we’d love to see you at our next event.