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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Bacon’s Bites: LeBron James restores your faith... And Hurst says it as it is! Good luck Blues.

Lebron James (right) in action Photo: PA

Lebron James (right) in action Photo: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

In his weekly look at the world of sport, MIKE BACON takes a look at NBA basketball star LeBron James’ latest venture and why Paul Hurst is making the right noises.

Lebron James - showing his class by helping less fortunate youngsters Photo:PALebron James - showing his class by helping less fortunate youngsters Photo:PA

I know LeBron James is a multi-millionaire NBA basketball star.

But money and fame has clearly not gone to his head.

Indeed, how refreshing it was to read this week the story of how James is opening a school for underprivileged children.

The ‘I Promise School’ will house 240 at-risk third and fourth-grade students in James’ hometown Akron, Ohio.

Town manager Paul Hurst met IpswichWitches promoter Chris Louis at the speedway on Thursday night. Hurst is saying a lot of the right things Ipswich fans are enjoying hearing right now. Photo: STEVE WALLERTown manager Paul Hurst met IpswichWitches promoter Chris Louis at the speedway on Thursday night. Hurst is saying a lot of the right things Ipswich fans are enjoying hearing right now. Photo: STEVE WALLER

The school is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and the Akron Public School and is designed to serve Akron’s most challenged students.

A great gesture by a sports star who remembers how tough life was for him growing up.

“School didn’t mean anything to me,” he said.

“There were just a lot of empty days, empty nights and just kind of a no-future thought process.

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“It was mentally challenging. No kid at eight, nine should have that stress... So I know exactly what a lot of these kids are going through.”

Today’s sports world is dripping with money.

James, 33, recently moved from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year contract worth $154m (£116m).

Nice if you can get it.

OK, so not everyone is LeBron James, not everyone has his money, that’s understandable. But plenty have forgotten their roots, or wasted their money away. Or just stashed it for themselves and their families...It’s all about choices.

But the fact James has not forgotten his childhood is of great credit to him.

Interestingly, one thing he does flag up was the importance as a young boy to have a bike to ride!

It was a big deal for him, if nothing else offering a way out of dangerous neighbourhoods!

Therefore, it perhaps isn’t such a surprise to know every student at the school he is helping fund will not just have meals provided, as well as their education, they will all have a bike as well!

“We just want everything for them,” the three-time NBA champion said.

“Everything and more. So it’s going to mean a lot to me.”

Good on him.

Yes, he can afford it.

But that’s far from the point. It restores your faith.

The football season is back up and running this weekend.

And no doubt many fans of Ipswich Town will be hoping new boss Paul Hurst can sprinkle some magic dust on his squad and help fire them into the Premier League.

It’s probably far too much to ask for the Yorkshireman this season, but his stock is good and I don’t know about you, but I’ve liked what he has had to say so far.

Clearly a blunt talker, Hurst says it as it is.

That may be uncomfortable for some, but for Town fans, that’s just what they wanted to hear.

The gap between management, players and the Ipswich Town fans was wide and ugly by the end of last season.

In my opinion there was too much ‘them and us’ and as a football club that is so unhealthy.

In the short time I have heard Hurst speak, I can’t imagine him ever allowing that to happen.

He won’t blame fans if his team play crap or don’t get the results. He’ll take responsibility. I maybe wrong, but I bet I’m not.

I read Stuart Watson’s interview with Hurst in full – if you haven’t I suggest you go online at the EADT website and take a look. It’s fascinating.

Early days, but I like Hurst’s style.

The new Kings of Anglia magazine is out soon. It went to the printers this weekend.

If you haven’t seen one, a bit of a plug.

There are features with current and former Town players and managers, including Paul Hurst, George Burley, Flynn Downes and Martijn Reuser.

But it’s not just ITFC.

If you like your non-league, there is a great tale of Leiston St Margarets’ survival in the Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division last season, some favourite non-league grounds and a few Teams of Yesteryear – old non-league team line-ups from years gone by

Anyhow, if you want to pre-order you can order a copy here P&P is free.


We’ve ranked the home kits of all 24 Championship teams. So who comes out on top?

Andre Dozzell has revealed his frustration as his return to action stalled earlier in the season but the teenager is now hungry for minutes on the field after returning to the first-team picture.

ANDY WARREN spoke to Ipswich Town No.2 Stuart Taylor about his journey from cleaning Paul Lambert’s boots at St Mirren to assisting him at Portman Road.

In past columns I have talked about a divide between athletes that earn large amounts of money, and those that do not, and how there is a movement in Ipswich to bring this sporting diversity together.

Striker Kayden Jackson scored a hat-trick as Ipswich Town defeated QPR 5-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Playford Road this afternoon.

Trevoh Chalobah has been training with the full England squad today ahead of the Three Lions’ clash with the United States tomorrow night.

Jordan Graham is training with Oxford United after being given permission to move on by Ipswich Town.

Teenager Jack Lankester hopes to be involved with the Ipswich Town first team for the remainder of the season but would be prepared to spend time out on loan if it aides his development.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert has been impressing the players with his skills on the training pitch. STUART WATSON looks back on his playing career.

Tristan Nydam is keen to make the most of his loan stay in Scotland but is still keeping a firm eye on parent club Ipswich Town.

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