March 04, 2021

LAWT News Service


 Russell Westbrook along with his wife, Nina, and longtime business partner, Donnell Beverly have partnered with LA Promise Fund to launch the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Middle and High Schools, known collectively as Russell Westbrook Why Not?

Academy with the goal of ensuring students in South Los Angeles have access to high quality athletic programs while balancing a strong education and leadership development. Westbrook and Beverly will also sit on the board to help oversee developments at the schools. 

Recently approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Education, the Russell Westbrook Why Not?

Academy will deliver world class education to South Los Angeles youth grades 6 through 12 to develop academic achievers, athletes and active citizens committed to social change.


Westbrook aims to ensure that students from South Los Angeles have access to a college and career education that is community-based, fights institutionalized racism, and uplifts and empowers individuals and the communities they live in.


“Creating and supporting educational opportunities for underserved youth has always been a passion of mine.

It’s so important that every child has access to a good education regardless of their socioeconomic background. My goal in partnering with the LA Promise Fund is to ensure our South LA students are ready for college and ultimately success in a 21st century career,” said Westbrook.

“The importance of a structured educational safe space for our developing youth to prosper, is a high valued priority of mine.

With sound intent, this partnership was created with great purpose to provide local youth with educational opportunities and ignite the Why Not? in our young scholars. To have the youth of South Los Angeles specifically, in the forefront of our commitment, is not only purposeful but also personal,” said Beverly.

“We all know Russell Westbrook’s accomplishments on the court.

His pledge to the LA Promise Fund Schools and the South LA community demonstrates his deep commitment off the court to uplift the community and positively change lives,” said Veronica Melvin, President of LA Promise Fund.

To celebrate the partnership, Russell Westbrook participated in a virtual announcement to the students as one of the many Black History Month activities scheduled throughout the month at the schools.

Following the announcement, the students received a goodie bag filled with gifts donated by Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation, After-School All-Stars and LA Promise Fund Board members.

The Westbrook Why Not? Academy operates on a community school model meaning that many resources are connected to the school, students, and their family to ensure their comprehensive well-being. 

Wrapped around a strong education, students will receive supports in the areas of career exposure like internships and dual enrollment community college classes; wellness programs to promote mental health, nutrition, and physical health, college advising through field trips, test prep and application assistance, and robust enrichment programs in athletics, Science, Technology, Math and Engineering and leadership cultivation. 

Category: Sports