Operation UNITE is offering seven regional Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball skills camps across southern and eastern Kentucky this summer.

All school-aged youth are invited to participate in these free camps, which last from 4 pm to 7 pm. Camps will be conducted:

  • Tuesday, June 4, at Morgan County High School, 150 Road to Success, West Liberty.
  • Thursday, June 6, at Nelson County High School, 1070 Bloomfield Road, Bardstown.
  • Monday, June 10, at Jackson County High School, 560 Educational Mountain Drive, McKee.
  • Tuesday, June 11, at Martin County High School, 137 Hollybush Road, Inez.
  • Thursday, June 13, at Lincoln County High School, 60 Education Way, Stanford.
  • Tuesday, June 18, at John M. Robsion Arena at Union College, 403 Manchester Street, Barbourville.
  • Thursday, June 20, at Bath County High School, 645 Chenault Drive, Owingsville.

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 lead each of these camps.

Participants are urged 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.

Participants will receive a free event T-shirt, regulation-sized signature basketball, and be entered into a drawing for two portable basketball goals that will be given away at the conclusion of each camp. (You must be present to win.) Food and water are provided.

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 face later in life – maintaining a healthy lifestyle, listening, teamwork, effort, and living with the consequences for making poor choices.

In addition, parents and guardians will have an opportunity to attend a brief UNITE-sponsored education program about the hidden dangers posed by vaping. 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 105 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball camps drawing 13,388 youth participants representing 63 Kentucky counties, 20 other states and two other countries. More than 3,000 parents/caregivers and other adults have attended the educational awareness sessions.

Helping make the 2024 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps possible are:

PLATINUM Sponsor: Appalachian Regional Healthcare.

GOLD Sponsors: American Legion Post 288-Bloomfield, Baymont by Wyndham, Brown Food Service, Inc., Cumberland Gap Mountain Spring Water, Frontier Behavioral Health, Hope City Rehabilitation & Transitional House for Women, Mountain Telephone, Redemption Road Recovery Center for Men, Volunteers of America Mid-States, and Walmart of London.

SILVER Sponsors: AmeriCorps Kentucky, Appalachia Reach Out, Barbourville Tourism Commission, Don Franklin of Bardstown, Don Franklin of London, Goin’ Green Lawncare & Landscaping, GFWC Kentucky-Barbourville Woman’s Study Club, Knox County Attorney Gilbert E. Holland, Jackson County Fiscal Court, J.L. Davis Electrical Contractors, KCEOC Community Action Partnership, Mitchell Tax & Accounting, Pathways, Inc., People’s Rural Telephone Cooperative, Sav-Rite Home Care, Serenity House, and White House Clinics.

BRONZE Sponsors: Bingham Tire & Oil (Barbourville), Center for Trait-Based Transformation (Campbellsville), Cumberland Valley Rural Electric, Inc. (Gray), First Southern National Bank (Stanford), Forcht Bank – Barbourville Banking Center, Gay Brothers Logging & Lumber (Annville), Kentucky Phoenix Project, Kiwanis Club of West Liberty, Martina McClure Makeup Artist (London), Bob Mitchell (Corbin), Ohio Valley Physicians, Inc. (Huntington, WV), Sav-A-Lot (Owingsville), Southeast Apparatus, LLC (Corbin), and Southeastern KY Rehabilitation Industries, Inc.