In the latest episode of the Road Trippin' with R.J & Channing podcast, Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye were joined by Cleveland Cavaliers teammates LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and J.R. Smith. At one point in the conversation, they discussed their respective paths to get to where they are today. With a little hesitation, James eventually revealed (at the 43:10 mark) that he missed 82 of 181 days of school in the fourth grade at Harris Elementary in Akron, Ohio.
“Me and my mom went to school one day in the spring time, and my teacher was like, ‘Your son applies himself so much when he’s here, but he’s never here,’" James said. "And my mom said, ‘What can we do so my son doesn’t fail? I don’t want my son to feel like he’s a failure.’ My teacher at the time, and I’m sorry I don’t remember your name, she gave us a stack—and I wish the listeners could see the stack of papers—she said, ‘If your son can finish this stack of extra credit, we’ll pass him."
In order to ensure that her son passed fourth grade, LeBron's mother Gloria literally took this situation into her own hands by helping him with what Jefferson called a foot-high stack of extra credit work. "This how G my momma is," he said. "Me and my momma went home, split the extra credit papers. She did half and I did half. We turned that shit in, and they passed me. That’s why my momma a G to this day."
The following year, James moved in with the family of his peewee football coach Frank Walker, and didn't miss a single day of school. But 'Bron credits sports for helping him turn his life around, and get him off the streets. “Without sport, I would’ve been done," LeBron admits. "Sports saved my life because the streets is so intriguing. What people don’t understand, it’s so intriguing, you don’t understand."
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