"100 percent it motivated us," Peoria All-Stars, Montel James, said.
The guys of the Men's Sunday Basketball League realize it's more than a game. One of their close friends, Kory Donaldson, was critical injured in a motorcycle accident and is still on life support.
"You know, having such a tragic thing happen to somebody," James said. "You know, it's terrible for his family, he's in my prayers. He will always be a part of the family."
By competing in The Basketball Tournament as the Peoria All-Stars, the team hopes to win the two million dollar prize and donate money to his family.
"We want to put his initials on our jerseys, so every time we play, you know, we can think of him," Peoria All-Stars general manager, Willie Williams, said. "With him, we just want to let him know that we're thinking about him, if he turns the TV on, he'll see his initials on our jerseys too."
The players are constantly giving back to the community. They give kids scholarships, have a mentorship program and tutor them during the week and Sunday's before games. After the final buzzer, if the score is in favor of the All-Stars in the championship game, they will donated part of the money to the community where they learned how to ball.
"Kids are the future of our world," James said. "You know, so we want to pack their minds with as much as we can and much positivity and intelligence as we can. So, they can lead the world."
"Our purpose is to help others," Williams said. "You know, I've done good for myself and God has blessed me to bless others. So, that's what it's about. Helping as many people as we can while we're here on earth.