Akron throwing party for LeBron

Updated: June 17, 2010, 6:04 PM ET
Associated Press

AKRON, Ohio -- LeBron James' hometown is throwing him a big party. Nobody knows whether it's a farewell bash yet -- or whether he's even coming.

James' contributions to Akron will be celebrated on Saturday at "LeBron Appreciation Day," an event organized by community leaders to show the local superstar how much he is loved as he approaches NBA free agency on July 1.

Organizers said James is aware of the event, but they don't know whether he'll attend.

A message seeking comment about a possible appearance by James was left with his publicist.

The three-hour rally will be held at InfoCision Stadium on the University of Akron's campus, across from Rhodes Arena, where James played as a high school star and where he accepted his second straight MVP award last month.

The city's free celebration for James will feature family-friendly activities, skydivers, bands and a LeBron look-alike contest. The award-winning documentary "More Than A Game," which chronicles James' rise to fame and his bond with four childhood friends, will be shown.

James will be presented with the first Akron Hometown Hero Award to honor "the dynamic and positive impact he has had on the Akron community." James has held a charity bike-a-thon in his hometown for several years and has donated time and money to help other children's programs.

All the LeBron-related hoopla comes less than two weeks before James becomes a free agent. The 25-year-old recently said that Cleveland has "an edge" to re-sign him, but James is expected to entertain offers from several teams including Chicago, New York and New Jersey.

James has kept a relatively low profile since the Cavs were knocked out of the playoffs by Boston. He did a sit-down interview with Larry King and made an appearance at a Cleveland event but has mostly stayed out of the limelight in the weeks leading up to free agency.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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