The start of something great: Colts safety Malik Hooker hosts first annual youth football camp in New Castle

Sports

The former New Castle and Ohio State standout gave back to around 200 kids Saturday at Taggart Stadium

NEW CASTLE, Pa (WKBN) – Malik Hooker graduated from New Castle just five years ago and since then, went on to become a National Champion and consensus All American at Ohio State.

Now, he’s a starting safety with the Indianapolis Colts and Hooker was back in his hometown on Saturday, giving back to the place where it all began.

This marked the first Malik Hooker Youth Football Camp at Taggart Stadium. Around 200 kids, ages 8-14, participated in the free camp, inspired by Hooker himself.

“I would never imagine this,” said Hooker. “At this time, when I was their age, I was just playing football with my friends. A lot of my friends that are out here coaching, they played sports. So now, for me to come back and be in the position that I am and being able to say, ‘I’m Malik Hooker’ and able to represent the city of New Castle as a professional athlete, that’s special to me.”

Hooker went down as one of the all-time Hurricane greats, not only on the gridiron but also the basketball court. As a senior, he was part of the undefeated state championship team.

Soon after, football became his future and he ran with the opportunity, much like he did with his camp Saturday.

“I told everybody it’s just positivity,” said Hooker. “There’s a lot of stuff that happens negative around here. I feel like kids just need the opportunity so it was my way of trying to give back to the kids.”

Hooker was joined by Colts defensive end Tyquan Lewis on Saturday. The two are close friends and also former teammates at Ohio State.

“Any time you get a Buckeye on the same team, you’re automatically linked in for life,” said Lewis. “So I’m just happy to be here, I’m excited for him. I’m sure next year it will be an ever bigger crowd. “

“Malik Hooker really is kind of bringing people together in town,” said Joe Cowart, New Castle head football coach. “Not only did you see some superstar talent, but you learned a ton about football today.”

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