Russell Westbrook opening middle, high school in South Los Angeles

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Russell Westbrook knows first hand the challenges of growing up and going to school in South Los Angeles, and he’s going to help some students there be exposed to opportunities they might not otherwise get.

In partnership with the L.A. Promise Fund, Westbrook will build the “Russell Westbrook Why Not? Academy,” offering classes from grades 6-12. Westbrook spoke about the plans with People Magazine.

Westbrook says he’s “excited” about the initiative, explaining, “I’ve realized through the work with my 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,” he adds.

Westbrook, playing for the Washington Wizards this season, grew up south of Los Angeles, playing his high school ball at Leuzinger High School in the city of Lawndale, then going on to play his college ball with Kevin Love at UCLA.

Westbrook’s goal is for the school educational opportunities for underserved youth. He is working with his wife Nina Earl and long-time business partner Donnell Beverly to make the school a reality.

LeBron James opened his “I Promise” school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, in 2018, looking to offer help for at-risk students where he grew up.