Zeller family giving back to basketball
One home in a tiny Indiana town has produced some big talent on the hardwood.
The small town of Washington in southwest Indiana is home to the Hatchet House, a big gym where three big boys - all from one family - became giant basketball stars.
"Seven-foot kids, Indiana. The basketball state is the perfect place to be," said Steve Zeller.
Steve and Lorri Zeller are the proud parents of three Mr. Basketball winners who collected four state championships and all graduated in the top three of their class. Luke and Tyler went on to the NBA and Cody is among the best in college basketball.
"A way of life for us. It's something that has always been in our family, even from Steve and I growing up, even our parents," Lorri said.
Steve played high school basketball in Iowa. Lorri continued in college.
Luke was born in Iowa, Tyler in California and Cody in Minnesota. The family moved here in 1993. They picked their house because it had a basketball goal.
The battered home court hosted many battles between brothers. But mom and dad have to leave home now to watch their boys play.
"We saw IU play at Illinois one day, went to Cleveland for two days to see Tyler play," Lorri said.
Steve and Lorri are leaving their jobs to work for Distinxion. The faith-based non-profit program involves the whole family and focuses on character training through basketball. Distinxion has a brand new gym in Washington and puts on camps around the country.
"We just sit back and, 'Okay, what's coming next?' It's really neat what's been provided to us through our kids. The neat thing is they do want to give back," Steve said.
"What I'm most proud of is what they are off the court. It's the people that they've become. It's the life that they're leading," Lorri added.
It is a family that stands out, well beyond their height.