Indianapolis Colts’ linebacker Darius Leonard returns home to host camp, dedicate park

Leonard and his charity, the Maniac Foundation held a ribbon-cutting at the park he used to play at as a kid.
Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 6:45 PM EDT
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LAKE VIEW, S.C. (WMBF) - Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard returned to his hometown of Lake View to host a football camp for 200 kids and dedicate the reopening of Hilltop’s Park.

“You know, just trying to touch the next kid that can be the next Darius Leonard or whoever they want to be,” said Leonard.

Leonard and his charity, the Maniac Foundation, held a ribbon-cutting at the park he used to play at as a kid.

“I grew up playing basketball up there and you know, those things right there, I gotta be that one to make it a very special, special spot for a kid to be at,” Leonard said.

He wanted to make sure the park was a safe and enjoyable place for the residents of Lake View. In the last few months, the Maniac Foundation has redone the entire basketball court, added restrooms, outdoor lights and an outdoor playset.

“Having a slide, having a nice basketball court so no one gets hurt. Just want to bring the community back out,” Leonard said. “Especially with COVID. Like I keep bringing up COVID, but a lot of people don’t go outside and exercise anymore so I want to make sure that I give them the resources to go outside with their family or go out there and shoot basketball or whatever the case may be for them.

After graduating from Lake View High School, Leonard attended South Carolina State University where he became the all-time leading tackler in school history. He’s now one of the top linebackers in the NFL.

“I’m out here living that dream and seeing all the 53s and seeing the kids in my jerseys. It’s a very humble experience to kind of see that and it makes my heart smile to come back and see a lot of people, especially kids, that look up to me and you know want to be like me,” Leonard said.

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