Many high school seniors across the nation had their graduation ceremonies cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily for them, NBA legend LeBron James made up for it with “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020,” a prime-time special to celebrate over three million high school seniors across the country.
On May 16 at 8 p.m. ET, “Graduate Together” aired on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN and many streaming platforms. LeBron James produced the event with his LeBron James Family Foundation, the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), and the XQ Institute.
“Graduate Together” featured an amazing list of esteemed guests including President Barack Obama, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe, Bad Bunny, H.E.R. and the Jonas Brothers.
As the host, LeBron James opened the event by commending the Class of 2020 for their hard work and perseverance despite the coronavirus pandemic. “You should’ve had a real graduation, I know. You should’ve had an incredible senior year; I know that as well. But you made a sacrifice, and you did it to keep your community safe and healthy,” said James.
"Our schools are our safety net," LeBron James says. "To the Class of 2020, as you celebrate tonight, do not forget your safety net … and now … it is time to chase every dream, accept every challenge, strive for greatness, honor every promise and recommit to your community." pic.twitter.com/LQDnrIvICY
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 17, 2020
LeBron James, who founded his I Promise elementary school in 2018, discussed how important schools are to their communities at the end of the program and gave some words of encouragement to the Class of 2020.
“Our schools are our safety net. Our people build our communities. To the Class of 2020, as you celebrate tonight, do not forget your safety net. Every teacher, every coach, every pastor, they along with your friends and family got you to this moment. And now, it is time to go to a new place. It is time to chase every dream, accept every challenge, strive for greatness, honor every promise and recommit to your community,” said James.
LeBron James watched “Graduate Together” with his wife Savannah and their three kids Bronny, Bryce and Zhuri James. In his Instagram story, James posted a photo with his family on a couch watching the program with the caption: “Watching Graduate Together/ Together as a family!! #JamesGang 👑 #classof2020 🎓.”
LeBron James also celebrated the program the following day on Instagram with a picture of himself and his friends at their own high school graduation. In the caption, James honored the Class of 2020, writing: “Waking up with the Class of 2020 on my mind and how incredibly strong and assembled you guys are!!! Continue to defy these odds placed upon you because you guys are our next leaders! Love you guys! And always remember, YOU’RE ALL KINGS AND QUEENS!!! 🙏🏾💪🏾❤️🙌🏾👑.”
View this post on Instagram
Waking up with the Class of 2020 on my mind and how incredibly strong and assembled you guys are!!! Continue to defy these odds placed upon you because you guys are our next leaders! Love you guys! And always remember, YOU’RE ALL KINGS AND QUEENS!!! 🙏🏾💪🏾❤️🙌🏾👑 @ipromiseschool @ljfamfoundation @springhillent @uninterrupted @graduatetogether