DANVILLE — Basketball originally brought Devin Glover-Johnson to east central Illinois in 2005 as a member of the Parkland College Cobras.
It’s now bringing him back to the area as Glover-Johnson and Floyd Brown are the co-owners of the Danville Riverhawks, a professional basketball team that will call the David S. Palmer Arena its home beginning in January.
“That’s why it’s so important for us to comeback to the area, and make sure we have the opportunity to give back to an area that has done so much for us,’’ said Glover-Johnson as the team’s press conference announcement on Wednesday. “I left and moved away. I had a chance to go to school, get my degree. It’s very important that we have the opportunity to come back, and we have not forgotten.
“We’re here to give back to the area.’’
And why to Danville?
“It was just a great opportunity to come back to an area with so much basketball history,’’ Glover-Johnson said. “Having played in the Dustbowl Tournament and at the junior-college level around here, I understand how passionate the area is about the game.’’
But Brown, who attended Thornridge High School in Harvey, admitted this program isn’t going to be just about basketball.
“We have big expectations for what we plan to do here,’’ Brown said. “Our first and foremost goal is to have a positive impact in the community with the programs we set up through basketball.
“A lot of the kids where I’m from in Chicago, and some of the kids that I’ve encountered in central Illinois, including Danville — some of the hope has been lost. They don’t have a complete understanding of the internal fortitude that they have to go places. That’s what we want to use sports to do. We want to show them that sports are not just competitive, but educational as well — teaching life skills.’’