Washington Wizards Point Guard Russell Westbrook has partnered with the L.A. Promise Fund to open up middle and high schools in the greater Los Angeles, California area. Westbrook's Why Not? Academy will work "to create better access to educational and outdoor opportunities for children and the community at large in South L.A."
"I've realized through the work with my [Why Not? Foundation] how often schools in underserved communities lack the resources and funding needed to support their students," the Long Beach native told PEOPLE.
"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."
The first Why Not? Academy will serve students in grades six through twelve. Westbrook will serve on the school board alongside his wife, Nina Westbrook, and his business partner, Donnell Beverly.
"Creating and supporting educational opportunities for underserved youth has always been a passion of mine," Westbrook added.
"It's so important that every child has access to a good education regardless of their socioeconomic background."
This announcement comes not long after Westbrook announced that he would executive produce an educational documentary about the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. The former NBA MVP hopes this documentary will help inform young students about a piece of history that is often not shared in classrooms.
“The Tulsa Race Massacre was not something I was taught about in school or in any of my history books,” Westbrook stated.
“It was only after spending 11 years in Oklahoma that I learned of this deeply troubling and heartbreaking event. This is one of many overlooked stories of African Americans in this country that deserve to be told. These are the stories we must honor and amplify so we can learn from the past and create a better future.”
Tulsa Burning will debut this spring on the History Channel.
Photo Credit: Getty Images