PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Lathan Sommerville knows he’s following in big footsteps.
“I hope I become as good as my dad,” Lathan Sommerville said. “May dad is will known around here.”
He’s talking about former Peoria High and Bradley star Marcellus Sommerville, who just retired after a 14-year professional basketball career in Europe. The Sommerville’s have relocated back to Peoria where Marcellus is now the CEO of Friendship House.
Lathan is in his first month of high school at Peoria Notre Dame. And he is already taller than his father who stands 6-7.
“He’s taller than me now,” Marcellus Sommerville said. “That happened during COVID. He was allowed to sleep more, right?”
This summer the older Sommerville hosted his Next Generation Academy for youth basketball players. And his son now helps him run those camps.
The Sommerville’s really hope basketball will be played this winter. Not just for the kids Marcellus teaches at his camp but because he wants to watch his son play his first year of high school hoops in the city where he once starred.
“For me to be home to watch him play will be everything,” Marcellus Sommerville admitted. “To not get the opportunity to see that would hurt. I want the opportunity to watch (my) big boy grow and flourish in the things he wants to.”
He’s starting to flourish. This year he finally beat his father in one-on-one.
“Hebeat me once, I’ll say that,” Marcellus Sommerville said with a smile. “But he can’t beat me consistently yet.”
Lathan Sommerville may disagree.
“I was happy, I beat him 5-0,” Lathan Sommerville said. “That sounds like a pretty good win to me.”