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Enes Kanter says LeBron James inspired him to open charter school in OKC

Celtics, LeBron James, Enes Kanter

Earlier this week, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter announced that he is planning to open a charter school in Oklahoma City. Kanter, who played for the Thunder for two and a half seasons has a connection with the city. Kanter has noted that he has yet to pick an exact location for the school.

The 10-year NBA veteran, in his first season with the Celtics, isn’t the first player to do something like this. In fact, Kanter admits that he took inspiration from Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James who opened the I Promise School in 2018 in his hometown Akron, Ohio.

“I think that’s the most beautiful thing you can do, educating our future, investing in our future,” Kanter said. “It was the most beautiful thing LeBron did, and it inspired me. I criticize LeBron a lot, obviously. Me and him have a beef. But what he did was just — I was like ‘Wow, this is amazing,’” per Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.

James’ school is focused on at-risk elementary-age children. The Celtics center’s “Enes Kanter School for Exceptional Learning” will reportedly focus on low-income students and those from immigrant families with limited English-speaking abilities.

According to the Turkish big man, the school will serve children from grades four through 12 and will have a syllabus that focuses on reading, writing, math, science while focusing on the physical, mental and emotional education of the students. The new charter school will also reportedly infuse sports and arts activities into students’ schedules.

On the court, Kanter has been a vital piece to the 26-11 Celtics. The 6-foot-10 center is averaging 9.1 points and a team-leading 8.6 rebounds per game in only 18.3 minutes per contest.