When Darrell Stuckey made it to the NFL in 2010 as a fourth-round pick of the San Diego Chargers, one of his priorities was to give back to the community that raised him.
Six years later, Stuckey — who attended Washington High School and the University of Kansas — continued to make good on that decision by hosting his fifth annual football camp on Saturday in Kansas City, Kan.
Stuckey said the camp, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bishop Ward High School, was attended by roughly 250 local youths who also left the camp with a T-shirt, a sports bag, a rubber football, a sports bottle and team photos and schedules for the San Diego Chargers.
“It was fantastic, it was awesome,” Stuckey said. “Even though it was hot, we had fun in the sun.”
Stuckey reveled in the opportunity to help reinforce basic football fundamentals in a positive atmosphere.
“When I was younger, this wasn’t something that was available for me, and I wish it would have been,” said Stuckey, who makes his offseason home with his wife and kids in Lawrence. “I wanted something that exposed me to football a little more and emphasized the fundamentals, something that could help kids fine-tune their skills, get back to basics and heighten their football IQ.”
Needless to say, it’s something the 29-year-old Stuckey — who made the 2014 Pro Bowl for his work as a special teamer — hopes to continue doing in the future.
“I can’t predict the future, but as long as I’m able and willing and the city is willing to have me, I’ll have the camp,” Stuckey said. “We’ll always consider a way to keep it going.”