Steelers rookie Kendrick Green hasn’t been in the NFL for very long, but he’s already found a way to give back to his hometown.
Green hosted a youth football camp in Peoria, Illinois on Thursday, with 75 youth players in attendance. Green said it’s a way of paying forward the same type of attention he got from another Peoria pro great.
“I went to Shaun Livingston’s basketball camps growing up,” Green told the Peoria Journal Star. “I really looked up to Shaun. Those camps taught me to be inspired, to believe I could be an athlete. They were a big part of whom I am today.”
Livingston’s 15-year NBA career started with the Los Angeles Clippers as the No. 4 overall pick in 2004 and ran through back-to-back titles with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018.
Peoria has been home to many pro greats over the years, from Livingston and fellow hoopers like Acie Earl and A.J. Guyton to MLB Hall of Famer Jim Thome, Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi and Cubs World Series MVP utilityman Ben Zobrist.
But it doesn’t have the same amount of history when it comes to football. Former NFL head coach Dick Jauron and current Minnesota Vikings boss Mike Zimmer hail from the region, as does Chicago Bears defensive back Sherrick McManis, but on the whole, it’s a place where Green can certainly make an impact on the football community, even as an NFL rookie.
“That’s what I want to do here,” he said. “If just one kid here today falls in love with football, then we had a success. … We want this to grow, and be a great experience for the kids.”