Is there anything LeBron James can’t do? The NBA champ and international icon will now add children’s book author to his long list of accolades with his first picture book, I Promise, out later this year.

The book was inspired by the “values and initiatives” of the Lebron James Family Foundation’s I Promise program in Akron, Ohio. The beautifully illustrated book’s message is simple, yet powerful: “success starts with the promises we make to ourselves and our community today.”

Publishing giant HarperCollins snagged a sweet two-book deal with the foundation. The second book is already in the works, but James’ fans and booklovers will have to wait because the author’s next piece, a middle grade novel, doesn’t drop until 2021.

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“Books have the ability to teach, inspire and bring people together. That’s why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me,” James, an avid reader, said in a statement. “Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in. I Promise is powerful in that way and I can’t wait for people to read it.”

New York Times bestselling illustrator Nina Mata is charged with bringing the colorful images to life for a diverse group of readers. Her work includes gymnast Laurie Hernandez’s vibrant She’s Got This picture book.

While James has made a name for himself on hardwood as one of the best to touch the rock, his forthcoming books and other ventures, such as his I PROMISE public school allow him to share his other gifts. In 2018, James’ I PROMISE opened its doors with a STEM-focused curriculum, social-emotion support, family-first approach—and a generous opportunity for every student to earn full-tuition college scholarships if they graduate with a high school diploma.

I Promise is available for pre-order now. It hits bookshelves August 11.


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