PEORIA, Ill. — Two former central Illinois stars with pro basketball resumes are right where they want to be this week.
With the goal of making basketball in their hometowns better.
After last year’s camp was canceled in the pandemic, former NBA player Shaun Livingston is back at his alma mater, Peoria High, for his summer camp again.
“It was tough not being here last year, tough for everybody. Getting a chance to come back this year is rewarding to interact with the kids, their families,” “Livingston said. “Let the kids come out and have a good time.”
And Alec Peters, a former NBA player now playing in Europe, is hosting his growing summer camp in his home of Washington.
“Every July we’re going to have kids in the gym. One day I hope we have a couple hundred kids in here and we have to worry about space issues,” Peters said. “The community means so much to me. We’re going to keep it going as long as we can.”
Both players agree their camps this year may be the most important they’ve ever done. Many of the kids attending their camps didn’t have a camp opportunities last year because of COVID.
And then their school basketball seasons this winter were cut short due to the pandemic.
“I think last year we realized how important it was to be around each other,” Livingston said. “Now to have basketball camps and different programs in Peoria, it feels good for everybody.”
Peters, who has resigned with his Baskonia team in Spain for the upcoming season, agreed.
“You see kids that haven’t done anything and they’re in here and super tires on Day 1. You try to get them through it,” Peters said. “And you also see the kids that have all the energy in the world and love every second of it.”
They live and work thousands of miles away from home but Livingston and Peters aren’t forgetting how important home is. Or how they can make it better.