Lakers’ LeBron James Now Has a Water Well Named After Him in Pakistan

Since entering the NBA in 2003, LeBron James has used basketball to help people at home while building his brand abroad. Those efforts have panned out so well, in fact, that the Los Angeles Lakers All-Star’s reputation now precedes him to the point that others are dedicating things to him.

Case in point: there is now a water well in Pakistan that’s named after LeBron.

Two University of Michigan students born to Pakistani immigrant parents, Sikander “Sonny” Khan and Taha Syed, honored the Akron, Ohio native as such through a non-profit organization called Paani, which Sonny co-founded. Since its establishment in 2017, Paani has raised nearly $100,000 and built more than 200 wells, servicing upwards of 20,000 people in Pakistan. The organization, which is operated by student volunteers, has also donated more than $1 million in medical supplies, children’s clothing and feminine hygiene products to the communities served by these water wells.

So far, Paani—which means “water” in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language—has named wells after international cricketer-turned-Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, and entertainer and activist Jaden Smith, as well as families and small businesses. How, then, did LeBron make the cut?

“There are many athletes who use their platforms to bring awareness on social issues, but LeBron is the most visible,” Taha told the Los Angeles Times. “He does the most and talks about social issues to help his community."

To date, LeBron’s activism has included speaking out against gun violence, supporting political candidates running for office and creating the LeBron James Family Foundation. Through his foundation, the four-time NBA MVP and three-time champion has built partnerships with the University of Akron and Walmart, and established the I PROMISE School to serve Akron’s at-risk youth and their families.

Now, by extension, LeBron will be bringing clean water to an impoverished community a world away from LA.


Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.