Sioux Falls, SD
Each year the Hy-Vee/Sanford Legends for Kids event brings legendary sports figures to Sioux Falls. This year a few local legends were invited to be the celebrity figures in their respective sports.
From the football field to the wrestling mat to the basketball court, Legends for Kids has been providing free sports clinics for young athletes to learn from the best for more than a decade.
"You know, Marital Arts is what I've done for most of my life I feel like it's a great honor to come back, not only just to do Martial Arts but for kids and help inspire them," Ben Nguyen said.
Current UFC fighter and Sioux Falls native Ben Nguyen is teaching young athletes how to kick and punch at the Mixed Martial Arts clinic, but he's not the only local athlete giving back to the community.
"My passion is to help children you know in multiple ways: in sports, in life, so just being able to be back and be this kind of celebrity figure for them it's really awesome," Ham said.
Former Augustana running back and current Minnesota Viking, C.J. Ham returned to the field where he spent his college days to help at the football clinic.
"I definitely do call Sioux Falls my second home. I love it here, I love the city, I love the community, I love Augustana so it's really nice to be back here doing the camp and not somewhere else," Ham said.
Webster native and four-time All American, Logan Storley led the wrestling event.
"It's a great opportunity for them and it's a great opportunity for me to give back to a sport that's given me so much," Storley said.
All three professional athletes agree it's important to give back to the sports and the communities that have done so much for their, now professional, careers.
"I feel like kids need something to dedicate themselves to and I feel like Martial Arts is a great way to do that and you can learn a lot of respect, a lot of discipline," Nguyen said.
"They're out running around and just learning one little thing and just being active and falling in love with the sport of wrestling," Storley said.
"Football and any sport doesn't last forever so while you're doing it don't take it for granted. Go out there and have fun, make memories, and just have fun doing it," Ham said.
Storley and Nguyen hope to have their next MMA bouts this fall, while Ham and the Minnesota Vikings begin mandatory mini-camp tomorrow.
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