TOPEKA (KSNT)- A pair of Shawnee County Sports Hall of Famers will host a kids camp in Topeka in July.
Kyle Weems and Michael Wilhoite are returning to Topeka for the community give back event on Thursday, July 7 at Shawnee Heights High School.
“Topeka’s everything of what I am,” Weems said.
Both athletes graduated from Highland Park High School before going pro. Weems played basketball at Missouri State, and plays professionally for Virtus Bologna in Italy. Wilhoite played football at Washburn before a six-year NFL career. He now serves as the linebackers coach for the Los Angeles Chargers.
“This to me is about Topeka and the people in the community,” Wilhoite said. “I want to celebrate it and I want to celebrate it with everybody.”
The camp will have three sections. Football for young kids in the morning, followed by basketball for all youth ages and wrapped up with football for teenagers in the afternoon. Both guys are hoping this year’s event will be the start of something special that will last a long time.
“I want it to be the best camp in the Midwest,” Wilhoite said.
As Wilhoite and Weems athletic careers began to prosper, Kyle’s dad always had just one request.
“All he ever wanted was us to give back to the city,” Wilhoite said. “That’s all he ever wanted was ‘Mike, ya’ll got to come back and be teachers man. Ya’ll got to come back and give back to the city. These kids, they need you. They need to see you guys. They need to hear your voices.'”
That’s how the event got its name: The Big Kev Community Giveback. It honors Kyle’s father, Kevin, who died in 2019.
“For us to be able to honor him and show him a way of love and respect, it means a lot for sure,” Weems said.
The event was in the works for quite some time, but had to be pushed back due to the pandemic, Wilhoite said. It’s here now, and both Topeka professionals couldn’t be more excited.
“What better way to give back and help the city than to be there?” Wilhoite said. “Show our faces, and give whatever knowledge we have to the next generation.”
Their message is simple.
“With a little bit of hard work and focus and dedication, anything is possible,” Weems said.
The opportunity to give back to kids in his hometown with his best friend by his side is indescribable, Wilhoite said.
“It’s priceless,” Wilhoite said. “It’s monumental.”
Anyone interested in the event can read more or signup here. All proceeds from the event will go to non-profit organizations in Topeka.