Five free regional Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball camps conducted by former University of Kentucky all-star Jeff Sheppard will be conducted June 14 through June 23.

All school-age youth are invited to participate in any of the camps, hosted by Operation UNITE, at the following dates and locations:
Week 1
• Tuesday, June 14, at Martin (Warfield) Middle School in Warfield.
• Thursday, June 16, at Owsley County High School in Booneville.
Week 2
• Monday, June 20, at Morgan County High School in West Liberty.
• Tuesday, June 21, at the Rodney C. Woods Gym at the Wayne County Schools Campus in Monticello.
• Thursday, June 23, at the Knott County Sportsplex in Leburn.

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.)

Four-time All-SEC Academic Team member Jarrod Polson will join fellow UK alum Jeff Sheppard as a camp instructor for the three Week 2 camps.

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 heroin and other opiates. 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.

Polson, a point-guard from Wilmore, Kentucky, went from walk-on to scholarship athlete before his freshman year at UK even began. Over his four years, Polson played in 94 games scoring a total of 140 points with a .424 field goal percentage (.313 three-point percentage).

Since 2006, UNITE has conducted 61 regional basketball camps with 8,295 youth participants representing 56 Kentucky counties, 20 other states and two other countries. More than 1,524 parents/caregivers have attended the educational programs.

Helping make the 2016 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps possible are:

GOLD Sponsor: Walmart of London

SILVER Sponsors: AmeriCorps-Kentucky, B&H Apothecary of Booneville, Appalachian Wireless of Ivel, Bank of the Mountains of West Liberty, Bluegrass Cellular of Monticello, Booneville Discount Drugs, Amy E. Brock DMD of Corbin, Commercial Bank of West Liberty, Defensive Action Against Drugs (DAAD) UNITE Coalition of Wayne County, Farmers State Bank of Booneville, Frederick & May Construction Company of West Liberty, Frederick & May Lumber Company of West Liberty, Hacker Brothers Inc. of London, JBK Inc. Roofing Division of Corbin, London Radio Service Inc., Minuteman Press of London, City of Monticello-Mayor Jeffrey Edwards, Owsley County Elementary School Family Resource Center, Owsley County High School Youth Services Center, Owens Inc. of Corbin, People’s Rural Telephone Cooperative (PRTC), Perry Oil Company of Hazard, Springwater Kartway of Monticello, Tri-County Cycle Sales of Corbin, Tri-County Wood Preserving of Corbin, C&P Quality Meats of London, Chad’s Hope Teen Challenge Center, Christian Appalachian Project, Cumberland Gap Mountain Spring Water of Middlesboro, Flowers Bakery of London, Kentucky Army National Guard, Robinson’s Premium Meats of London, WestCare Hal Rogers Appalachian Recovery Center, and Woodman Life of West Liberty.

BRONZE Sponsors: F&H Drug Inc. of Monticello, First Southern National Bank of Stanford, Jacobs Trade Center of Booneville, Kentucky Outdoorsman LLC of Corbin, Lee County Building Supply of Beattyville, Monticello Banking Company, Owsley County Clerk Shanna Oliver, Kenneth L. Ramsey State Farm Insurance of Monticello, and Silvers Hometown Pharmacy LLC of Monticello.

SUPPORTING Sponsors: Tom Blair Insurance Agency Inc. (State Farm) of Corbin, First National Bank of Grayson, and Levi Pawn & Gun of Booneville.