LEBRON James is determined to make a mark in his second visit in the Philippines in his role as special guest mentor in the Nike Rise reality basketball documentary.
In a brief press conference at the Nike House of Rise facility in Mandaluyong, the Cleveland Cavaliers star said he had been looking forward to his second visit in the country more so since he now has a chance to make a difference by being a mentor in the reality basketball program Nike Rise.
“I try to take full advantage of it. My story speaks for itself. I’m a kid who took a lot of hardwork and sacrifice and a lot of love to the game. I know what the kids are going through. I can relate to them,” said James.
“I think more than teaching the skill set comes the inspiration behind it. I’ll tell the story and use it to better themselves. That’s more important than that,” said James.
The NBA star spent just a day in Manila in his first visit two years ago. But he is set to stay for four days this time in a stay that will see him mentor the finalists in the Nike Rise search later in the evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"Told yah I'll be back," he told the media scrum gathered before him.
Twenty-four streetballers, mostly teenagers, made it through the Nike Rise regional qualifiers and 12 will be selected to compose the Rise team.
No less than James will announce the final cut at the Mall of Asia Arena.
James said it has always been his passion to teach kids and make a difference, as he too had a difficult childhood before becoming one of the greatest players.
“It feels great to be able to be someone that people look up to so that they can rise to the occasion. It comes from my upbringing. My story speaks for itself. My mom put me in this position. She had the strength to raise me by herself,” said James.
James said he is looking forward to seeing the Filipino basketball fans once again where a packed house is expected on Thursday night.
“I’m excited to be around with the fans again. It was an exciting time two years ago and I’m looking forward to this opportunity,” said James.
“They love the game,” he added.