Just because schools are shuttered doesn’t mean graduating students can’t get an unforgettable commencement speech—or several.
While the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing protocols unfortunately put an end to traditional graduations this year, LeBron James and his foundation, the LeBron James Family Foundation, recruited celebrities all around the country to give this year’s high school graduates the uplifting star-studded ceremony they deserve.
The basketball champion kicked the virtual event off with a message to all watching, but especially to the graduating seniors.
“Seniors, tonight is for you,” the star told them. “Tonight, we honor 12 years of your hard work, studying, the tests, early mornings and late nights and we honor everyone who got you here.”
As a personalized touch, photos of graduating seniors showed behind James as he acknowledged this year’s graduation wasn’t ideal.
“You should have had a real graduation, I know,” he said. “You should have had an incredible senior year. I know that as well.”
However, he also pointed out graduates made sacrifices to keep their communities safe.
As he concluded his remarks, James assured the class of 2020 there is a bright future ahead, especially after facing this pandemic.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the class of 2020 is gonna be something really special,” he told them. “After all this, you guys are prepared for anything.”
“We are all ready for the class of 2020 to change the world,” James said as he kicked off the TV event. “Congratulations.”
Later on in the show, he encouraged graduates to remember their “safety net”—their teachers, coaches, churches and overall community.
“The community needs you,” he said. “Class of 2020, I know the last thing you want to hear right now is stay home…my message is, ‘Stay close to home.'”
“Pursue every ambition. Go as far as you possibly can dream,” the athlete encouraged. “And be the first generation to embrace a new responsibility—a responsibility to rebuild your community. Class of 2020, the world has changed. You will determine how we rebuild and I ask that you make your community your priority.”
For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov.