From 2011 through 2013, Jackie Carmichael and Nick Zeisloft were teammates on the Illinois State mens basketball team. Now they are hosting a hoops camp with in Bloomington to help teach the next generation of players.
“I am really fortunate and blessed that these kids came out here and that I am able to give back to the community,” said Jackie Carmichael. “Because this community means so much to me.”
“Just putting a smile on their face is a very rewarding thing for us. We were in their shoes at one point,” said Nick Zeisloft. “We were looking up to college players, professional players, even high school players. That is what I did.”
All proceeds from the camp will go to the Zeke Upshaw Foundation. Zeke played at ISU from 2010 to 2013. But during a NBA G-League game in 2018, he collapsed. Two days later, Zeke Upshaw passed away at the age of 26 from a sudden cardiac death.
“Every time I am at Illinois State, he should be here with us,” said Zeisloft. “He is, but physically, he should be with us still.”
Jackie, Nick and Zeke were nicknamed the “Three Amigos” during their time at Illinois State. Jackie and Nick say they are proud to be able to give back to Zeke’s Foundation to help raise awareness for heart health awareness.
“Him (Upshaw), me and Nick Z’s relationship was very important, and I think that hopefully this camp will get even bigger and we will be able to make an even bigger contribution to that,” said Carmichael. “And to be able to educate people on heart disease.”
“To give the proceeds to Zeke’s foundation, and to raise awareness for heart issues, heart disease, it’s just a very rewarding thing,” said Zeisloft.