Big Summer Camp Leads to Memorable Spring For ‘Boo’

Local Sports

PEORIA, Ill. — It’s been a great spring for Peoria’s Curley ‘Boo’ Johnson.

He was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and he received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Loras College, in May.

He understands most people know him as a former Harlem Globetrotter who was dubbed the World’s Greatest dribbler. But he thinks much of this recent attention is because of his title as camp director.

“Something I’m very proud of, the camps and their success. How many people it draws from so many communities,” Johnson said. “I think my Hall of Fame induction was the culmination of a lot of things.”

This year marks his twelfth as the director of the Skills For Life camp which he started primarily as a basketball camp for Peorians. It outgrew the Peoria Academy and had to move to Dunlap High School.

Johnson expects over 750 boys and girls will attend the week-long camp in August. Some will drive from as far as Havana and Kewanee to attend.

The best form of advertisement appears to be word of mouth. It continues to spread east, west, north and south.”

He’s still a showman and still likes to remind people of his Globetrotter skills. In fact, his Globetrotter-like slam dunk contest is one of the most-talked about segments of the Hall of Famer’s camp.

“Nine, ten and 11-year-olds doing all the stuff they see on TV. It’s fun,” Johnson said. It shuts down the gym. The whole gym is focused on these kids and they love it. And my coaches get excited.”

This year’s camp runs from August 5-9 at Dunlap High School. Here’s a link for more information:

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