MYRTLE BEACH, SC(WMBF) - A former NFL and USC star made a trip to the Grand Strand Saturday. Marcus Lattimore hosted his First Choice Fit youth football camp at Carolina Forest High School.
Myrtle Beach is the last stop this summer for the organization that holds camps around the state. Around 100 boys and girls from ages five to 16 joined together to learn how to better play the game.
While some signed up to improve their technique and conditioning, many came to see the man behind it all.
"It's been awesome, it's been a good summer. We started in April in Lake City and we've traveled to pretty much each region of South Carolina, and we try to hit each region because obviously there's a need," said former NFL and USC star Marcus Lattimore.
In addition to learning how to be quick on your feet, how to catch a pass and how to break tackles, Marcus Lattimore said this camp is much more than just learning the fundamentals of football - it's about teaching life lessons.
"The discipline, the respect, the hard work, determination, that's what we want them to take from this camp," Lattimore said.
Lattimore said he gets tons of positive feedback from parents on being more than a football icon, but a community leader who teaches kids to get back up when adversity knocks them down.
"That right there means more than anything, I don't care how many times they run the football, what they do on the field, what they accomplish, if they're good people, they're going to go further in life," Lattimore said.
Another focus within the camp were free health screenings. Lattimore said he wants to educate kids on the right ways of living a healthy lifestyle and how it can be beneficial in the future.
"I'm a public health major, and I learned a lot about prevention and how many diseases can be prevented from a good diet, from working out, from eating right," Lattimore said.
So before the kids got to do drills they had to sit down with a few health professionals. However, while everyone had their share of fun while working hard, discipline was still the message the camp centered around. Lattimore makes it a mission to leave each camp making sure the kids know they, too, can do what he did.
"I hope they see that from me, seeing my story, knowing the things that I've been through, and knowing that there's life at the end of the tunnel, you can still impact people - no matter what walk of life you're in," Lattimore said.
Lattimore's been coaching at camps since 2013 and started his own in 2015. The future keeps getting brighter especially for this annual camp. Next year he's looking to do more than 50 camps across the state.
To learn more about the Marcus Lattimore Foundation, visit https://marcuslattimorefoundation.com/.