Five free regional Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball camps conducted by former University of Kentucky all-star Jeff Sheppard will begin June 8 and continue through June 18.
All school-age youth are invited to participate in any of the camps, hosted by Operation UNITE, at the following dates and locations:
• Monday, June 8, at Magoffin County High School in Salyersville.
• Tuesday, June 9, at Prestonsburg High School.
• Thursday, June 11, at Jackson County High School in McKee.
• Tuesday, June 16, at Lynn Camp High School at Corbin in Knox County.
• Thursday, June 18, McCreary County Middle School in Stearns.
Each camp begins at 4 p.m. and concludes about 7 p.m. Participants are asked to arrive 30 minutes early for registration. (There is no advance registration.)
Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps provide basketball skills instruction in conjunction with anti-drug and self-esteem messages.
For safety and comfort while participating, youth are asked not to wear open-toe shoes or sandals.
All participants will receive a free event T-shirt, regulation-sized signature basketball, food and water, and be entered into a drawing for two portable basketball goals given away at the conclusion of each camp (you must be present to win).
Presented by Ameritox, Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps are fun, interactive and provide a safe, drug-free activity where children have an opportunity to interact with positive role models while learning fundamental basketball skills.
In addition, parents and guardians will have an opportunity to attend a brief UNITE Foundation-sponsored education program on marijuana. Information on the signs, symptoms and dangers posed by prescription drugs will also be provided.
As a senior at the University of Kentucky, Sheppard was named the NCAA’s Final Four Most Valuable Player in the Wildcats’ 1997-98 National Championship season. He would later go on to play one season with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and 3 years in Italy.
Helping make the 2015 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps possible are Walmart, Knox UNITE Coalition, Farm Credit Mid-America, Firestone, Jackson Energy, Kentucky Farm Bureau (Knox County), Kentucky National Guard, Knox County Attorney Gilbert E. Holland, United Cumberland Bank, People’s Rural Telephone Cooperative, AmeriCorps-Kentucky, Chad’s Hope Teen Challenge Center, WestCare Hal Rogers Appalachian Recovery Center, Cumberland Gap Mountain Spring Water, Flowers Bakery of London, Robinson’s Premium Meats, Bowling Funeral Home, Dolen’s Furniture and Appliance, McCreary County Attorney Conley Chaney, and South Kentucky RECC.
Since 2006, UNITE has conducted 56 regional basketball camps with 7,713 youth participants representing 56 Kentucky counties, 19 other states and two other countries. More than 1,381 parents/caregivers have attended the educational programs.