PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — He’s spent the last two years at a prep school in Georgia, so Lathan Sommerville is glad to be home.
He’s leaving the warmth of the south but the Peoria native is already thinking about playing basketball games in the frigid winters for Richwoods High School, where he’ll finish his high school career.
“I’m definitely excited to to get a chance to play in front of family, friends, play with friends. It’s a great opportunity,” Lathan Sommerville said.
He started his high school career at Peoria Notre Dame, where he finished his freshman year. Then Sommerville enrolled at the Brandon Hall College Prep School in Georgia, playing basketball with The Skill Factory for his sophomore and junior years.
This spring the 6-foot-10 post player committed to play college hoops at Rutgers, so next year he’ll once again be away from home.
That’s another why he says he’ll cherish playing high school basketball in his hometown this year. And being home also means he has the opportunity to have daily workouts with his father, Marcellus Sommerville.
Marcellus is the the president and CEO of Peoria’s Friendship House and played 14 years of pro basketball hoops overseas after a standout college career at Bradley.
“He helps me build confidence, preaching confidence and believing in yourself and what you can do,” Lathan Sommerville said. “He tells me, ‘don’t let anyone put you in a box.'”
Sometimes the two work out at the gym at the Friendship House.
“It’s nice to have the opportunity to train your son and pour into him,” said Marcellus Sommerville. “Especially when you want him to reach the heights, (and go) further than (the heights) you were able to reach.”
The Sommerville’s have been working out together for years but they say they really don’t play against each other anymore. It might be because Lathan claims he can routinely beat his dad now.
“He can’t beat me anymore more, it’s as simple as that,” Lathan Sommerville said. “He’s trying to make these rules to give him a better chance. I get three dribbles, he gets unlimited. To me he still can’t win.”
No more one-on-one games, just one-on-one workouts with the Sommerville’s. And dad still has the last word.
“He doesn’t always enjoy it,” Marcellus Sommerville said with a smile. “But it’s fun getting after him.”