Brooklyn Nets' star Kyrie Irving pays tuition for 9 Lincoln University students

ByAshley Johnson WPVI logo
Friday, January 8, 2021
Brooklyn Nets Star Kyrie Irving is paying it forward to nine seniors at Lincoln University. On a surprise Zoom call, he shared that he would be paying their tuition.

CHESTER COUNTY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Brooklyn Nets' star Kyrie Irving is paying it forward to nine seniors at Lincoln University.

On a surprise Zoom call, he shared the exciting news that he would be paying their tuition.

"I wouldn't be sitting in my position and embracing who I am without knowing where I come from," Irving said on Zoom.

Junie Jolifils is a health science major and has been on the dean's list all four years. She's from Brooklyn, New York, where Irving currently plays.

"I was in shock. Then I started tearing, and I started crying," Jolifils said. "I'm just extremely, extremely, extremely grateful because there were times I was on campus by myself just crying and praying and just asking God for a way."

Jolifils submitted a video thinking she was applying for a scholarship.

She never imagined she would end up on Zoom with the pro basketball guard.

"I texted my little brother and was like 'I'm on Zoom with Kyrie Irving.' I wasn't expecting him on the call," Jolifils said.

The NBA All-Star became the answer to her much needed prayers.

In August, her mother, who helped her pay for college, passed away from cancer. Life since has been a struggle, Jolifils says.

"She didn't make it this time, so I did get a GPA merit scholarship, but it still wasn't enough," she added.

The athlete's big gift to Lincoln University students was all apart of his foundation's 11 days of giving in December.

His connection to Lincoln University came from an alum who works for his KAI Family Foundation.

"Out of the blue here comes this angel who says, 'I got you, and all I ask is that when you're able that you pay it forward as well,'" Lincoln University President Dr. Brenda Allen said.

Jolifils says that Kyrie Irving's gift means the world to her and the other eight recipients, who are all from New York.

She will be the first person in her family to graduate college and is an aspiring radiology technician.

"I thank god for Kyrie Irving and the KAI Family Foundation for blessing me and all of the other students because I know how hard it is," Jolifils said.