Five free, regional Operation UNITE Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball skills camps for youth throughout southern and eastern Kentucky will be conducted between June 11 and June 20.
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:
- Tuesday, June 11 – Clay County High School, 415 Clay County High School Road, Manchester
- Thursday, June 13 – Rowan County Middle School, 555 Viking Drive, Morehead
- Monday, June 17 – West Perry Elementary School, 72 Miss Edna Lane, Hazard
- Tuesday, June 18 – Rockcastle County Middle School, 945 West Main Street, Mt. Vernon
- Thursday, June 20 – Whitley County High School, 350 Boulevard of Champions, Williamsburg
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 vaping, e-cigarettes, 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 79 regional basketball camps with 10,445 youth participants representing 62 Kentucky counties, 20 other states and two other countries. More than 2,200 parents/caregivers have attended the educational programs.
Helping make the 2019 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps possible are:
KCEOC Community Action Partnership of Gray, and Walmart of Corbin.
Advent Health-Manchester, AmeriCorps Kentucky, Appalachian Wireless of Ivel, Amy E. Brock DMD of Corbin, Chad’s Hope Teen Challenge Center of Manchester, Christian Appalachian Project, Community Trust Bank of Mt. Vernon, Cumberland Gap Mountain Spring Water of Middlesboro, Dayspring Family Health Center of Jellico, TN, East Kentucky Insurance LLC of Manchester, Edgewater Recovery Center of Morehead, Firestone Industrial Products Company LLC of Williamsburg, Dr. Ben Hensley Family Dentistry of Manchester, Kentucky Lodging Development, Inc. of Corbin, L&N Federal Credit Union of Corbin, London Radio Service, Lumber King, Inc., of Somerset, Minuteman Press of London, City of Mount Vernon, Owens Inc. of Corbin, Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative (PRTC) of McKee, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Corbin, Perry County Agency on Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) Coalition, Pizza Pro, Inc., of Manchester, Rockcastle County Agency on Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP), Rockcastle Regional Hospital & Respiratory Care Center of Mt. Vernon, Rowan County UNITE Coalition, Roy Todd Builders of Mt. Vernon, Tri-County Wood Preserving, Inc., of Corbin, Whayne Supply Company of Corbin, Clay County Attorney Joseph C. White of Manchester, Whitley County Fiscal Court, and Whitley County Family Resource and Youth Services Center.
C&P Quality Meats of London, Central Body Service, Inc. of Mt. Vernon, Creech & Gibbs Pharmacy of Corbin, DG Trucking & Equipment Sales of Lily, Kentucky Hometown Bank of Corbin, Kentucky Outdoorsman of Corbin, R&S Variety and True Value Hardware of Manchester, Robinson’s Premium Meats of London, Tim Short Chevrolet of Manchester, and Whitaker Bank of Lexington.