James makes surprise appearance at rally

Published 11:40 pm Saturday, June 19, 2010

AKRON — LeBron James turned his big bash into a surprise party.

With thousands of hometown fans already gone or leaving “LeBron Appreciation Day” on Saturday, James stunned everyone by walking through a side gate into nearly empty InfoCision Stadium on the University of Akron’s campus — after the event officially ended.

As fans screamed and pushed to get closer to the two-time NBA MVP, James, who lives a short drive from the school, made his way down to the playing field. James was then presented with a gorgeous crystal trophy, which had to be pulled out of a box after being packed away.

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“Akron is my home, it’s my life,” James told the crowd after accepting the city’s first Hometown Hero Award. “Everything I do is for this city. I’m going to continue to do great things. I love every last one of you all. Akron is home.”

James was then escorted through a door to the football team’s locker room and waved to fans before disappearing almost as quickly as he arrived.