PEORIA -- A former NBA player and coach brings his Champions 4 Champions program to Peoria.
The Champions 4 Champions Program visits high schools across the nation, seeking out students who may need a little motivation or encouragement.
Coach Chuck Hatcher has accomplished some pretty big things in his life, but he said it hasn't always been easy.
Hatcher was a former gang member, and he said in high school, he had to make a choice. He said that choice has sent him on a life path he's proud of.
Now he's sharing his story, and hoping to impact some of America's troubled youth.
Hatcher said, "This is a great opportunity for us to make an impact by bringing some of the greatest sports legends in the world right into areas to do what we need to do, save our only natural resource, which is our kids."
He said his Champions 4 Champions program is important because he can relate.
He said he wants kids to know they can overcome anything. He asked students, "How many of you want to do something positive with your life?"
His motto is this. "You can be anything you want to be in this country if you have a plan and a way to get to it."
Peoria High School students said Hatcher's words of advice and encouragement are exactly what they needed.
Senior Tess Schneckenburger said, "It feels good to be supported when sometimes you feel like you don't or you're not."
Senior Mike Alberg-Rayord said, "I've got a son to take care of too and I'm trying to be a corrections officer, I'm trying to make it out of Peoria like they said to instead of staying in the place I was born in I want to see the whole world."
For Hatcher, giving them hope is the next goal he wants to accomplish.
"It takes teamwork to make a dream work, and we're here to help them make a dream work."
The Champions 4 Champions tour selects 29 high schools to visit.
It also stopped at Peoria Manual High School.