LECOMPTE, La. (KALB) - For the past two months Lecompte native and professional basketball player Corey Blake has put together a basketball league for his hometown welcoming anyone and everyone from the Cenla area to hoop on Thursdays and Saturdays.
"Just always wanted to give back," says Blake. "Something I wanted to do when I was little. Was kind of fortunate to have that happen to me. Giving back to the youth."
Back home in Lecompte for the offseason of his pro career this summer, Corey Blake got in touch with town mayor Robert Baxter and the operator of the Lecompte Youth Complex to get this basketball league running.
"Talked to him asked, 'Can I do it?' They said, 'Sure.' Everything started turning out well. The parents helped," adds Blake. "We also had some games where the parents helped make sure they were on time. My biggest thing is make them responsible by doing practice on Thursday. If they don't come they run. Doing situations like that. It's turning out well."
With this league just getting off the ground, Blake says he's already had around 50 kids come to learn and play ball.
"Mostly kids in Lecompte, but I have them everywhere come text me, Facebook me, 'Can I come join today?' I'll be like, 'Yeah, you can join.'"
Practices take place on Thursday nights at 6 with games happening Saturday nights from 5 to 10. It's safe to say the players are more excited for game days, but they're always ready to hit the court.
"I hear from them all week," explains Blake. "Pumped up especially for Saturday. Not so much Thursday, you know Thursday is practice day."
At practices the kids work on ball control and how to conduct themselves in a professional manner.
"It's a lot of things, but most important is ball handling and protecting the ball," says Blake. "I hate turnovers."
With his wealth of knowledge on the court from playing high school, college and pro basketball, Corey Blake acts as a mentor to these kids.
"They talk to me and I tell them what they need to do to get there," tells Blake. "It's not that hard. Work hard, have good grades, stuff like that and you'll one day be there."
This basketball league isn't just for kids though. Anyone wanting to hoop and help out is welcome at the gym.
"I don't have any age range. You can learn from the smallest on up," explains Blake. "No younger than six. I have adults in it because they may know something that that person don't know. So, to learn from everybody is what we're trying to do."
Doing this purely out of the good of his heart Corey Blake hopes that he can continue to build and grow this basketball league into something that attracts more and more athletes.
"I look at it as a blessing. I see myself in a lot of them," adds Blake. "Some of them work hard. Some of them need to learn how to work hard. Me instilling it to them I just look at it as a blessing. I don't want no reward for it."
Corey Blake will leave in September for Mexico to play another season of pro ball, but says he has people that he trusts who will keep the league running.