Former Baylor Basketball player Cory Jefferson made his way back to his hometown this weekend to hold a free basketball camp for Central Texas kids.
Cory Jefferson has returned to his home court in hopes of growing a love of basketball within the kids that are growing up in the same city he did.
"Being here in the City of Killeen, I know everything that the kids see and go through every day, sometimes it's a little rough. So, just being able to really to have an outlet, something to do, something to just get away from whatever's going wrong... coming here to the gym and just try to help them forget about those things... and then the ones that want to stick with it, hopefully it can take them, even more, places like it did for me," Cory Jefferson, a Killeen High School alum and now professional basketball player, said.
Jefferson graduated from Killeen High School and went on to play basketball for the Baylor Bears before being drafted in 2014.
"He's inspiring me," Tyliek Williams, a Cory Jefferson camper, said.
"When they come, when people come back that signed and went to the NBA, that means they really care about us and really show support for us... and they really like the game, and they'll do it for free.. that means a lot to me," Micah Dillard, another Cory Jefferson camper, said.
This is the third summer, Cory Jefferson has held a free basketball camp for kids in the Killeen area.
"Just showing my appreciation for the city, wanting to give back, thanking everybody for the support. They don't have to do nothing, pay nothing. Just sign up, sign their name so we know who's coming... I'll take care of all that. They don't have to do it," Jefferson added.
Seventy-five campers came out to Killeen High School Saturday to learn from the best.
"It's actually an honor to meet some people that are really great and, you know, that know their stuff," Jadeivette Ortiz-Rivera, a Cory Jefferson camper, said.
"They'll come up to me and show me, like one of the drills between the legs... a lot of them couldn't go between the legs, and they'll come up to me showing me right now... look, I can do it, I can do it... so that's something big for me. That shows me that they're really getting something out of this," Jefferson said.
But, the kids are learning more than just skills, they're gaining confidence.
"If he made it, anybody can make it. I can make it. You never know... you just gotta put in the work like he did," Dillard added.
Jefferson has become a role model, both on and off the court.
"I learned how to stay humble and just like have fun and know to give back all the time and show support when I can," Dillard said.
Jefferson plans to continue to sponsor this camp for as long as he is able to do so.
He said another benefit to holding a camp in his hometown is having his mom be able to help behind the scenes, adding that moms know best, and he couldn't do it without her.
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