The nine All-Star hails from Long Beach, California, and grew up in Hawthrone. He attended UCLA college before becoming the number four overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft. It’s only right he picks his hometown for the academy. The school will be in the Southern Los Angeles area.
“Creating and supporting educational opportunities for underserved youth has always been a passion of mine. It’s so important that every child has access to a good education regardless of their socioeconomic background. My goal in partnering with the LA Promise Fund is to ensure our South L.A. students are ready for college and ultimately success in a 21st-century career.” –Russell Westbrook
L.A. Promise Fund’s president Veronica Melvin also chimed in with a statement:
“We all know Russell Westbrook’s accomplishments on the court. His pledge to the LA Promise Fund Schools and the South L.A. community demonstrates his deep commitment off the court to uplift the community and positively change lives.” – Veronica Melvin
The school will include both a middle school and high school. Westbrook spoke to People Magazine and made this statement about the academy’s purpose:
“To create better access to educational and outdoor opportunities for children and the community at large in South L.A.”
“I’ve realized through the work with my [Why Not? Foundation] how often schools in underserved communities lack the resources and funding needed to support their students. I not only want to inspire and empower these students but I want to help provide the essential and necessary resources to set them up for success beyond the classroom.”
Westbrook doesn’t just plan to sit in the background either. He will be apart of the academy’s schoolboard making sure to help with the development process. Nina, his wife, and longtime business partner Donnell Beverly will be apart of that as well.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas seems to be excited about the project and commented:
“LA Promise Charter Schools provide students and families with high-quality alternatives to their neighborhood schools, through a strong educational model, wrap-around services, and signature programs. With the addition of Russell Westbrook and the evolution of Russell Westbrook Why Not? Academy, this will continue to empower students, strengthen families and build communities.” – Mark Ridley-Thomas