Five free regional basketball camps conducted by former University of Kentucky all-star Jeff Sheppard will be offered by Operation UNITE this summer.

All school-age youth are invited to participate in the Shoot Hoops Not Drugs programs at the following dates and locations:

• Tuesday, June 5 – Rowan County, the old middle school gym, 415 West Sun Street, Morehead.

• Thursday, June 7 – Clay County, Clay County Middle School, 239 Richmond Road, Manchester.

• Monday, June 18 – Martin County, Sheldon Clark High School, 1825 Blacklog Road, Inez.

• Tuesday, June 19 – Whitley County, Boston Elementary School, 3291 Highway 1804, Williamsburg.

• Thursday, June 21 – Magoffin County, South Magoffin Elementary School, 171 Half Mountain Road, Saylersville.

Each camp begins at 4 p.m. and concludes about 7 p.m. Participants are asked to arrive 30 minutes early to complete registration.

Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps provide basketball skills instruction in conjunction with anti-drug and self-esteem messages.

Participants are asked not to wear open-toe shoes or sandals.

All participants will receive a free event T-shirt, regulation basketball, food and water, and be entered into a drawing for two portable basketball goals given away at the conclusion of each camp (must be present to win).

Presented by Phoenix Products, 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 UNITE Foundation education program on how to talk to their children about drugs. Information on the signs, symptoms and dangers posed by drugs will also be given.

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 2012 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps possible are: Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kentucky, Codell Construction, Lightyear Network Solutions, Senture, Walmart of Eastern Kentucky, and WestCare.

Since 2006, UNITE has conducted 38 regional camps with 5,055 youth participants representing 53 Kentucky counties, 11 other states and one other country.