Curley Boo Johnson’s Skills For Life Camp going strong, adding to ‘Boo Camp’ family in year 15

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:11 PM CDT
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DUNLAP (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Former Peoria High star and Harlem Globetrotter Curley Boo Johnson says the 15th year of his Skills for Life Camp is the biggest one yet. Hundreds of kids from more than 90 communities, all improving their basketball skills and all hearing an important message

“Believe in yourself because if you don’t believe in yourself, then nobody else will,” Johnson said. “Never give up and believe, chase your dreams and you never know what you can do.”

But Curley Boo is not delivering that message alone. He’s got plenty of help. All but a few of his 80 plus coaches at this year’s camp are former campers that have become some of the area’s best and brightest hoops stars

“This year we’ve got 80-84 of the top high school basketball players in Central Illinois,” Johnson said. “They’re walking, talking, breathing role models for these kids and they’re basketball players that the kids look up to. “This is the kind of camp I would have wanted to go to as a kid where you can see Cooper Koch. You can see Lathan Sommerville, you can Denali Edwards. You can see Sophia Remmel. You can see Claire McDougall and all the other stars in the area.”

Campers at Boo Camp get to learn from the best of the best, but perhaps the coolest part of the week is the relationships and friendships they build. They get to become a part of the Boo Camp family.

“It’s a family here. It’s a family feeling and these kids look up to them. These campers, they will follow these high school ballplayers, these superstars on social media. They will attend their games, even their graduations and they stay in touch. And in turn, some of these high school stars will go and watch them play.”

And the coaches love being a part of the camp that has given them so much. They’re very appreciative to get the chance to coach and love building those relationships with their campers.

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