12-year-old hosts free basketball camp for service project

Published: Jul. 23, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT
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SOUTH BELOIT, Ill. (WIFR) - Kevin Salser is only 12 years old and can say he hosted a basketball camp for 40 athletes Saturday. He wants to share his passion for the game with others and give back to the community that’s given so much to him.

Salser was nominated for the National Junior Honor Society and needed to complete a service project. His mind went to hosting a free camp at the Boys and Girls Club in South Beloit, which he says he frequents.

“Basketball is important to me and I just wanted to share and spread it,” says Salser. “It’s been a regular for the last 4-5 years and I’ve been coming here as long as I can remember.”

“Kevin works with me with private lessons and he came up to me and said he was doing a project for a free camp for kids. That’s all I needed to hear,” says Salser’s Private Coach Gene Houston.

Around 40 kids between the ages of eight and 16 learned about how they can take their game to the next level and skills they can take with them off the court, all thanks to Salser’s planning.

“It’s a little bit more for education, skill building, kids to come and see if this is something they want to do which is great for south Beloit also because it gives back to our community,” says Bruce Nichols Boys and Girls Club Director Meghan Moffett-Minter.

“We’re helping kids with their basketball skills, getting better, having fun and maybe meeting some new friends,” says Salser. “Inspiration to continue and fight for their dreams.”

Salser also fund-raised himself so everyone in the camp could leave with a free basketball and a swag bag. His coach says this camp has the potential to reach even more kids.

“It’s great that they get to come and learn some skills and leave with a basketball to keep trying and training for those skills. It’s a fantastic opportunity,” says Moffett-Minter.

“To continue to work with people like that does not only help this community but the world would be a better place if you have more people like him,” says Houston.

Salser plans to attend Hononegah High School and hopes to wear the purple and gold on the court for the Indians someday.

The South Beloit Boys and Girls Club was happy to host the camp since they don’t have any basketball camps for residents.

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