Five free, regional Operation UNITE Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball skills camps for youth throughout southern and eastern Kentucky will be conducted between June 18 through June 28.

Former University of Kentucky point guard and four-time All-SEC Academic Team member Jarrod Polson – who was part of the 2011-12 National Championship squad – will conduct these three-hour camps.

All school-age youth are invited to participate in the camps, to be held at the following dates and locations:

  • Monday, June 18 – Lincoln County High School, 60 Education Way, Stanford
  • Tuesday, June 19 – Richard Nixon Recreation Center, Leslie County, 150 Wendover Road, Hyden
  • Thursday, June 21 – East Carter County High School, 405 Hitchins Road, Grayson
  • Tuesday, June 26 – Bell County High School, 9824 South Highway 25E, Pineville
  • Thursday, June 28 – Wolfe County Middle School, 303 Johnson Street, Campton

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.)

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 the Kentucky National Guard, 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. Polson relates these fundamentals to situations participants will face later in life – maintaining a healthy lifestyle, listening, teamwork, effort, and living with the consequences for making poor decisions.

In addition, parents and guardians will have an opportunity to attend a brief UNITE-sponsored education program on marijuana and current drug trends. Information on the signs, symptoms and dangers posed by prescription drugs will also be provided.

Polson, a native of Wilmore, Kentucky, went from a walk-on to a scholarship athlete before his freshman year at UK even began. Over his four years at UK, 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 73 regional basketball camps with 9,516 youth participants representing 59 Kentucky counties, 20 other states and two other countries. More than 2,000 parents/caregivers have attended the educational programs.

Helping make the 2018 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps possible are:

GOLD Sponsor: Walmart of Corbin

SILVER Sponsors: Akins Excavating of Corbin, AmeriCorps-Kentucky, Appalachian Wireless of Ivel, Arnett & Steele Funeral Home of Pineville, Baptist Health-Corbin, Bell County Coroner Jay Steele, Amy E. Brock DMD of Corbin, Chad’s Hope Teen Challenge Center of Manchester, Christian Appalachian Project, Creech & Gibbs Pharmacy LLC of Corbin, Cumberland Gap Mountain Spring Water of Middlesboro, First Southern National Bank of Stanford, The Ideal Print Shop Inc. of Middlesboro, Kentucky Lodging & Development Inc. of Corbin, L&N Federal Credit Union of Corbin, Lincoln County Fiscal Court, London Radio Service, Long’s Pic-Pac Galaxy Supermarket of Pineville, Middlesboro ARH Hospital, Minuteman Press of London, Owens Inc. of Corbin, Parts City Auto Parts of Crab Orchard, Perry Oil Company of Hazard, Sav-Rite Home Care of Corbin, Tim Short Auto Group of Winchester, Tri-County Cycle Sales Inc. of Corbin, Tri-County Wood Preserving Inc. of Corbin, WestCare Hal Rogers Appalachian Recovery Center of Ashcamp, and Woolum & Dixon Family Dentistry of Pineville.

BRONZE Sponsors: AGE Engineering Services Inc. of Stanford; Bates, Miller and Sims PLLC of Stanford; C&P Quality Meats of London; Central Body Service Inc. of Mt. Vernon; Commercial Bank of Grayson; Corbin Ice Company; David’s Steakhouse of Corbin; J.B.K. Roofing Inc. of Corbin; Kentucky Outdoorsman of Corbin; London Tire Center; Redi-Mart of Crab Orchard; and Robinson’s Premium Meats of London.