PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — Christ Lutheran School has partnered with Next Generation Academy to teach kids the ins and outs of basketball while also teaching them about the bible.

Coach Marcellus Sommerville founded the academy back in 2018 while playing professional basketball in Israel.

Meki Bennet traveled from Springfield Illinois to be in his camp. After receiving the MVP award, Bennet said he’s already making friends.

“I’ve made a lot of friends now that I won MVP. A lot of kids have been signing up for play dates and asking for my number,” said Bennet.

Assistant coach Chip Bates grew up in Peoria and used to play basketball around the town. He said he wants to give back to the youth and pass his knowledge on to them.

“I grew up around here playing basketball in the streets around here through high schools, so I’m thankful I have the opportunity to give back and teach them what I’ve learned in basketball and try to keep them on the right track,” said Bates

July 28 is the final day of camp.