This weekend, boys and girls will have the opportunity of a lifetime; to play basketball with a professional and help save lives.
NBA player and University High School graduate Keita Bates-Diop will return to the community this weekend to host two youth basketball skills camps to benefit the Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation’s Automated External Defibrillator Program. 100 percent of the money raised will be donated to the foundation.
“The Bates-Diop family was kind enough to organize the youth basketball camps,” said Executive Director of the IHLF Lisa Slater. “It’s a great opportunity for kids to get some feedback from an NBA player.”
The family has direct experience with cardiac arrest. Kieta’s brother Kai suffered from cardiac arrest during a practice. Through the “swift action” of coaches, staff and students Kai’s life was saved.
The camps will spread awareness of cardiac arrest, AEDs and what to do if someone were to go down. Children attending will learn about AEDs, their importance and how they are used, all while shooting hoops with an NBA player.
“It’s a good opportunity to raise awareness within the community about the importance of CPR and AEDs,” said Slater. “[The camp] is something that is not necessarily available to kids on a regular basis.”
The first camp will be at Saturday, June 15 at University High School for 6th through 8th graders. The second camp will be help on Sunday, June 16 at Game Time Gym in Bloomington for 3rd through 5th graders. The camps will last from 11 a.m. until 2 both days.
A registration fee of $25 is required to participate, but all proceeds will be donated to the IHLF AED Program. Those interested in registering for the camp may contact Wilma Bates at 309-530-0147.