Operation UNITE will offer in-person Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball skills camps for youth throughout southern and eastern Kentucky on Monday, June 7, and Thursday, June 10.

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 free three-hour camps.

All school-age youth are invited to participate in the camps, to be held from 4 pm to 7 pm at Magoffin County High School on Monday and Boyd County High School on Thursday.

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 summer activity. Youth will 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 the dangers posed by stimulant drugs. 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 86 regional basketball camps with 11,500 youth participants representing 63 Kentucky counties, 20 other states and two other countries. More than 2,500 parents/caregivers have attended the educational awareness sessions.

Helping make the 2021 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps possible are:

GOLD Sponsor: Appalachian Wireless of Ivel, KY.

SILVER Sponsors: AmeriCorps-Kentucky, C&P Quality Meats of London, Citizens Bank of Kentucky of Paintsville, Cumberland Gap Mountain Spring Water of Middlesboro, Frontier Behavioral Health of Salyersville, King’s Daughters Medical Center of Ashland, UA Local 248 Pipefitters of Ashland, Members Choice Credit Union of Ashland, Perfection Rubber and Supply Co., Inc. of Catlettsburg, Rise Above Group of Louisa, and Walmart.

BRONZE Sponsors: Bailey’s Furniture & GE Appliances of Salyersville, Chad’s Hope Teen Challenge Center of Manchester, Hometown True Value Hardware of Salyersville, Jerraco Drilling Supply of Oil Springs, Sanibel House of Catlettsburg, and Shields Law Office of Catlettsburg.

For more information about Shoot Hoops Not Drugs or other Operation UNITE initiatives, please visit https://operationunite.org/programs/shoot-hoops/

Updated 6-4-21