NBA All-Star 2018 Los Angeles

While the NBA’s biggest stars and entertainment’s biggest celebrities stepped out into the bright lights of Los Angeles for this year’s All-Star festivities, LeBron James used the platform for a bigger purpose. For the fourth straight year, LeBron brought along his 330 Ambassadors to help him have an impact on the host city while creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience the high school students could take back to Akron. With many of them on the west coast for the first time in their lives, the 330’s eagerly explored career opportunities, experienced some behind-the-scenes of the entertainment industry and served the local community in a big way.

Kicking off their All-Star experience in Beverly Hills at the famed offices of WME Entertainment, the 330 Ambassadors quickly learned this experience would change their lives forever. After hearing from some of the powerhouse agency’s top executives, the theme of the day was clear: work hard, be good people, and anything is possible. The inspiring roundtable ended with an open door invitation for the hungry high schoolers to follow up with anything they might need on their career journeys – surely a golden ticket if there ever was one. After wrapping on Wilshire Boulevard, the group headed to the Warner Bros. lot to experience the magic behind the movies on a private lot tour.

After a day of career exploration came the central focus of the 330’s trip – creating visible, lasting change in the LA community. This year’s day of All-Star service consisted of planting trees and native plants in an area of the Santa Monica Mountains that is struggling to replenish itself. Teaming up with local organization, the TreePeople, the 330’s worked hand-in-hand to haul plants, dig holes, and perform any necessary tasks to do their part to rehabilitate the area, improve the climate, and prevent future fires in the sprawling mountainside. The impact of their labor will last long beyond NBA All-Star weekend.

Saturday saw the group heading to All-Star practice to check in on Team LeBron. Once #23 was introduced, he quickly made his way across the court to see his 330’s and show his appreciation for their help. Following practice and a delicious meal down the street courtesy of Blaze Pizza, the 330’s then headed to USC for an exclusive campus tour curated just for them. Getting a feel for a big-time University was timely for many of the 330’s who are currently weighing their college options. The busy day was capped off by dinner on the beach in Malibu that was filled with big laughs, good food, and newly-formed friendships that will last a lifetime.

Far bigger than a Team LeBron win in Sunday’ night’s All-Star game – and even a third All-Star MVP nod for LeBron – is the impact this trip had on the 330 Ambassadors that will extend throughout Akron as they return to their mentor and role model responsibilities for the younger I PROMISE students. Coming home to Akron armed with more life experiences, knowledge, and passion for community service, the 330’s are ready to channel their new perspectives and fresh ideas into the upcoming I PROMISE School as they look to further their impact at home.

For more insight on the 330 Ambassadors’ experience at this year’s All-Star and the bigger impact of LeBron’s philanthropy, click here for more from USA Today.