LeBron James has been named the 2018 AP Male Athlete of the Year.
2018 was a successful year for James both on and off the basketball court.
In his 15th season, James reached the NBA Finals for the eighth consecutive year, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since members of the Boston Celtics dynasty spanning the 1950s and 1960s. James averaged 27.5 points, a career-high 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds per game in the regular season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was the 13th straight season he finished in the top five in MVP voting, setting a record for the longest streak of its kind in NBA history.
Off the court, James helped open a new elementary school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, specifically aimed at helping at-risk youth.
Thank you "AP" for the award. Obviously this isn't for me, it's for all my @IPROMISESchool kids, kids all over the world and adults as well that allow me to talk for them, lead them, dream with them and inspire them every single day! THANK YOU 🙏🏾#JamesGang👑 https://t.co/xwfwZrNwGn- LeBron James (@KingJames) December 27, 2018
Created through a partnership between the LeBron James Family Foundation and the Akron Public Schools, the school welcomed 240 at-risk third and fourth-grade students on its first day, providing them all with free tuition, uniforms, transportation, food and so much more. In addition to receiving considerable praise from his NBA peers, his efforts also drew praise from former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.
.@BarackObama and I are so proud of @KingJames and @IPROMISESchool. Kids in Akron and across the US are lucky to have you as a role model on and off the court. Keep using your platform for good and giving our kids a chance to shoot for the stars. 🌟🏀 #ReachHigher #BetterMakeRoom pic.twitter.com/hyS6UM2A7b- Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) July 31, 2018
James also won the award in 2016 as a member of the Cavaliers and 2013 as a member of the Miami Heat. He's the second NBA player to win the award three times, joining Michael Jordan. The only other NBA players to win the award even once are Stephen Curry and Larry Bird.
First awarded in 1931, the AP Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards are determined with voting by U.S. news directors and editors.