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Heroes Camp turns young South Bend men into champions

Heroes Camp in South Bend // WSBT 22 photo

For nearly 30 years, one local couple has committed themselves to serving underprivileged kids in the South Bend area through basketball. They continue to change lives.

On any given day, Heroes Camp in South Bend serves nearly 100 kids. No child is ever turned away, but with growing numbers of kids, volunteers and money are needed.

Dezire Balderos, 14, says he couldn't imagine living a day without Heroes Camp.

“This is my other family from home. This is my second family...Pat is like a dad to me."

Patrick Magley and his wife BJ founded Heroes Camp nearly 30 years ago with one mission: To turn young men into champions on and off the court.

“45 percent of St. Joe County is beneath the poverty lines, so a lot of our kids who come up here are struggling at home,” Magley said. “We are consistently trying to meet their needs. We passed out 100 backpacks that were stuffed with school supplies."

The Magleys say basketball isn't just a sport here. These kids learn conflict resolution, clean fun, healthy exercise, and how to treat your fellow man.

Everything in this facility is free, and haircuts are given all year long, Brand new shoes and clothes are passed out. Every day the children are fed both spiritually and physically.

“Every day that we are open, kids come hungry and that breaks my heart,” BJ said.

The Magley family is committed to changing the statistics of fatherless boys.

“You’re not going to get incarcerated, you’re not going to do drugs, you’re not going to have suicides,” Magley said. “We want to impact them. We are trying make a difference and we are. Not only are we changing individuals, we are changing the entire family tree. This is generational."

Balderos says he dreams of making it to the NBA and coming back here and helping other kids in need.

"I love everything about it the food, everything is free, the basketball; there's nothing more that you can ask for. All the love that, all the stuff that you get from here, it’s awesome,” he said.

Heroes Camp says it is in need of volunteers and donations. If you would like to help, click here.

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