PEORIA- A basketball program that was on the brink of death is now up and running at full speed, and keeping kids out of trouble.
Taylor Alexander is improving his jump shot as part of the Saturday basketball program at the Peoria Dream Center.
"Play with teams, play with scrimmages and stuff, improving my dribbling skills," he said.
But he know's that when he scores, it's more than just points in a game.
"Come here to stay out of trouble because it's Saturday, instead of being out there with gangs and stuff you come in here to play basketball," Alexander said.
Coach Chris McAfee said that kind of mindset brings many back to the court, every Saturday.
"This program really keeps them off the streets and plus we give them mentoring, a type of father figure too as I am, I respect them, they respect me because I love them," McAfee said.
McAfee said that just by dribbling, passing and shooting, the young men are learning life skills too.
"I want them to understand that attitude could be the reason why a lot of people fail, and I need to change the way you think you know you're not always going to win all the time," McAfee said.
And whether they're victorious or not, these athletes are investing in a hobby that fosters teamwork.
"Don't have bad sportsman shop, like, play as a team, don't be a one man game," Alexander said.
It's also helping them learn good friends and hard work really pay off.
McAfee said the program is exploding with interest. He said what he needs most now are volunteer coaches.
If you're interested in brushing off your baller skills and helping out you can call the Dream Center at (309)676-3000.
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