Inside the 1-on-1 interview with LeBron James

The NBA star opened a school in his hometown for at-risk students.
11:35 | 07/31/18

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Transcript for Inside the 1-on-1 interview with LeBron James
Hey there thanks so much for joining us here on ABC news' live on GO Benitez here at the ABC news headquarters in New York. And we are on the air right now because we have the opportunity go to ESPN's Rachel Nichols. She just sat down with LeBron James there she is right there joining us from the ESPN studio there at the seaport here New York Rachel think it's a much for joining us. Absolutely thrilled to be here. And he just sat down with LeBron James your news your interviews making a lot of news right now because. At one point you west of about why it's so important for him. To share his voice Laura Ingraham a Fox News we remember so vividly how she sat shut up and rebel when he started criticizing the president so let's take a look at your interview right now and see what he said about. And I wanted to know why while you do things like this it's also important to you to use your voice to stand up for kids like that. Even as high as criticizing president FaceBook for me. I have a voice have a platform. So many kids and don't accuse but also adults and everybody kind of look for four continents. Look for someone to kind of be done in a time we're grateful to their forces powerful. And you see something this injustice is openness won't receive some goodness trying to divide us. As a race or or the country. For life mob voice can be heard to speak and especially coming from that point oh though both sports and I'll live and some other sports know what else force. We wouldn't be audio would be talking to you rate she wouldn't be interviewed me and you know sports. Is like. It stops race. Every race comes together to fight one common goal and that's to mean to have fun and to to have Roderick they like that and if for some want an Oracle or body of parties to try to divide might use and or platform sport. I don't support is given me everything that I can read this tournament that happened so. Might use them voice and then you know did you feel when people would the need to guys notice or care for them and would be their voice in its present for me because. Access forces it's the ultimate. To bring people to do so. That's wonderful. And Rachel the reason you did that interviews because it just opened this big school. There in Akron Ohio his hometown. And it's for at risk kids there call the I promise school. As so when you were sitting there talking to him. About this issue and we're looking at video of that school right now pretty incredible school there when you were sitting there with them what's the sense you've got. About why it's so important to him. To speak out like this. We'll let you mentioned the shut up in general comment Brayton and of course of that's all LeBron James ever did he wouldn't have been sitting in that school which is it's beautiful facility that is serving. All of these at risk kids in Akron Ohio he's really working to create generational. Change there and raise the graduation rates raise the college rates change what is possible for impoverished inner city kids in his hometown. And it is interesting and we ran across this and sports a lot is that there's a lot of people. Who see athletes take a political stand for talk about what's important to them in their communities and in the athlete's mind first of all there are citizen just like anyone else. And then also they are fighting for things that they think are important. Having kids be able to have enough to eat right or maybe it's that air disaster recovery certain areas. Get the kind of hurricane relief and seeing Carmelo Anthony be very vocal about that and Puerto Rico. Recently and to them that is really no different than say opening a school. Because either you want someone to be invested and involved in their community or you don't into the Roque that there invested and involved and the leader and vocal in their community or is it. And I think for a lot of athletes and LeBron is certainly one of them you heard him there. That they're picking the invested part and that means doing things like giving millions of dollars to help people in their community but it also means saying what they think. And fighting for what they think including the people who don't have a voice like they did. And Rachel let's talk about that school right now because some of the things he's giving is you know free bikes to these kids. He's giving breakfast and lunch to these kids it's really revolutionary. A new way of doing school and he sort of built this he told you. Based on his own experiences let's listen. It features the school were built around your experience and what we wanted you would've needed when you're that age so tell me what it was like. To be one of those kids what are you walk around it was possible for you was not possible. All you've been Knowles possible Ford as you can always predict institute of statistics and you know grown opening your city you know the numbers which the producers you to really no walls possible. I think. What happened for me is that I got some mentors and Little League coaches and some teachers that I can't soared to believe in. They certainly my dreams feel like they could actually become a reality so. You know like I say this restored which more than forty kids 120 years in third grade 124. Grade and I believe elsewhere Connell stardust restored for me. They're known for Graham is eighty days of school. You know and you know following your arm and a friendly in the walker friendly and known to support system amid some Little League coach playing basketball football. And a follow your have been missed one day of school so but like this is the point where you know we can kind of get into the minds of the key is to let them know that. We're here for nothing to us were kids also he won't they just want someone to fill I think. So I don't care about them go nuts were to be known to hear. And Rachel I wonder I don't know if you have the answer to this if he told you but I wonder if based on this model of education he hopes that this extends beyond just. Akron Ohio. Absolutely educators these are here with and there are plenty of generic that is if he's designing the curriculum he's gone to real experts on that's. On they do hope that this can be a model for other places it's a public schools not a charter schools not a private school. I Easley has a heavy personal investment from the bar on that every public school gonna have that. Probably talk about things like. Bicycles will you heard him say. I couldn't get to schools. So that's hard it is giving these kids a mode of transportation. Also they're providing bus service for any kid that's outside of a couple mile radius that is again. Offered his experience he couldn't get to school so they're doing this sort of shoulder programming that lets kids. Actually participating in school. Things that frankly kids to arm that whose families are better often to themselves maybe they have a car that they can drive their kids to school they're not nearby at the school they have to take their kids across town. The food aspect is of course a huge part of this. We have a problem in this country where we have millions of kids who don't get enough food to eat and if you are hungry. You can't learn properly it's just you know we've we've all had is were reading. Waiting get a mailing you don't focus the way that you normally do now imagine your seven year old kid. You haven't gotten fed you're worried about where dinner is gonna come from. Can you really keep up at reading levels and math and science into all the things that we expect third and fourth grade kids to do and so the idea is again. Kids in this country who are fortunate who are while las. They have a support system in their parents and families who make sure they get at a breakfast in the morning and go to school with a great brown bag lunch but if you aren't lucky enough to have that. In a school like this they are providing a free breakfasts it would start the day well fed they are providing lunch they are providing a snack in the afternoon and by the way school goes until 5 o'clock which is very different from most other schools to in the idea is hate. Kids tend to get in trouble in their wandering around after school and again maybe don't have parents who have the luxury of staying home with them are being is attentive to them have made parents have to work a couple jobs. And so the school is providing. That shoulder programming to sort of do with these kids families are not able to do. And give them the same advantages that a lot of other kids in this country get just by being fortunate to be born into betters are. Stances yet those of us went to public schools no and remember seeing some of those kids who wouldn't be able. Today eat lunch there Rachel want to ask you because you actually walked around the school what impressed you the most. I mean the school facility itself you can see is actually beautiful and again back comes from there's been tons of studies done at that kids and frankly can't. This applies to adults to put especially to children if you put children an environment. Wearing shows van that you have physically invested in Nam financially invest in and you've created a beautiful space because you think it matters. That they can have nice things. It changes how that kid. Sees themselves. What they expect for themselves what they want for themselves what they think they deserve. So the fact that the physical plant of the schools so beautiful they spent a lot of money may mean that way it it was a just a vanity thing again all of these com. From different educational theories and sort of wasted to put their arms around these kids and give them the advantages that a lot of other kids have and other places. And again this term generational change the hope is that you know twenty years from now after they get a lot of kids through this program. You will seek graduation rates reading rates all kinds of things in Akron shoot up. And in the end if those numbers are really significant wow LeBron James he's won three and the NBA titles he's at four and BP's but those numbers won't matter as much as Akron. It's gonna be really interesting to follow the stories of those children originally on ESPN I can't let you go without asking a basketball question how he got to do what the lakers. Let's that's a big big big question now his free agency came out this past summer. No publisher of really what he was gonna do because there wasn't one big obvious option. Things in Cleveland you know Alec analysts say have run their course because he certainly had the option to stay but it wasn't a perfect situation for him Tuesday. Was not a perfect situation for him to leave in a couple of the place in the lakers aren't a perfect situation either. That the team in transition. They're banking on the fact that they're young players can get better that banking on the fact that maybe they pick up another big free agent next summer. Will have to see what happens also remember LeBron James is turning 34 war. This season eventually he will stop being the best flare in the NBA although again yesterday he told me. As have you okay spending look could be one of the last years of your prime and sort of building mode. And he looked at meany said. I know everybody thinks this is going to be one of the last year's in my prime I don't think so I've bucked the odds and every other way why not this so we'll have to sink maybe he's right. And I know you've been mentioned that some athletes actually run for office and and he told you what. He's at right now he's a little bit more consumed with his sons AA AU team and his big coaching career. So we'll have to see between the lakers basketball career between his amateur coaching career. I think that's taking at this time right now but you never held political office he said look ever it gets nice it's. We'll say. It's not like he's busier and right. ESPN's Rachel Nichols thank you so much for joining us here on ABC news live and I'm sure we will see you all day and night on ESPN with the story at some legs joining me here. All right thanks so much and thank you for joining us here on ABC news live remember abcnews.com and that ABC news app for all of your top stories all day long on GO when he does here at the ABC news headquarters in New York. Have a good day.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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