New Miami Heat forward Lebron James has announced that he will donate the remaining 12 roster spots on his new team to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, meaning 12 lucky boys and girls will get to play this season and beyond with James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
"I have worked closely with the Boys & Girls Club for years and I want to continue that relationship even as I head to South Beach," James said. "Also, these poor, mostly orphaned little kids are the only people we can get under the salary cap."
The announcement was met with celebration from the 30 or so children gathered at the Greenwich, Conn. Boys & Girls Club for James' television special "The Decision." Little Stevie Walker, 8, is thought to be the best prospective Heat player. He can dribble with both his right and left hand and scored around 10 points per game in his biddy basketball league last year (official stats are not kept). He will likely start at point guard for Miami if he can get his foster mother to sign a release form.
Beyond Walker, the pickings are slim. Twelve-year-old Douglas Bolt is fairly tall for his age at 5-foot-8, but he has bad asthma and has never played sports, and would likely struggle at center. Olivia Jenkins, age 10, is another option because she says she recently won 12 tickets at an arcade Pop-A-Shot enough to win a small, stuffed unicorn.
Boys & Girls Club of America president Roxanne Spillett said she appreciates James' generosity.
"Lebron has always been great to us," she said. "Although I suspect he's doing this so he has an excuse if he loses in the playoffs again this year."
The Heat have cut Joel Anthony, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers to make room for the Boys & Girls Club children.
"This is a definite roster upgrade," said team president Pat Riley.
(photo: Getty Images)