floydcountytimes.com

Operation UNITE to offer six free regional basketball camps

Times Staff Report

May 23, 2013

SOMERSET - Six free Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball camps, taught by former University of Kentucky standout Jeff Sheppard, will be conducted in June 2013. Participants in a Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball camp receive a free basketball, T-shirt and meal.


Each of the camps will begin at 4 p.m. and conclude about 7 p.m.


The 2013 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camp schedule shapes up as follows:


Carter County, Monday, June 3, East Carter Middle School, 1 Spirit Lane, Grayson.


Elliott County, Tuesday, June 4, Elliott County High School, Main Street, Sandy Hook.


Bell County, Thursday, June 6, Middlesboro High School, 4404 West Cumberland Ave., Middlesboro.


Leslie County, Monday, June 17, Leslie County High, off U.S. 421 south of Hyden.


Lincoln County, Tuesday, June 18, Lincoln County High, 60 Education Way, Stanford.


Breathitt County, Thursday, June 20, Sebastian Middle School, 244 LBJ Road, Jackson.


Shoot Hoops camps provide participants an opportunity to interact with positive role models, receive positive anti-drug and self-esteem messages in conjunction with basic basketball skills instruction. A brief education program on how to talk with your children about drugs and the signs, symptoms and dangers of drugs is provided to parents and/or guardians. More than 200 caregivers attended programs at the 2012 camps.


All participants in the UNITE-sponsored camps receive a specially designed event shirt, regulation autographed Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball, and are entered into a drawing for two portable basketball goals to be given away at each location.


Shoot Hoops Not Drugs programs teach school-age youth fundamental basketball skills while emphasizing the importance for them to stay drug-free. 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.


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 three years in Italy.


Some of the best volunteers at camp have been the residents and staff from the WestCare and Chad’s Hope treatment facilities. Their enthusiasm for helping youth stay positive and headed in a drug-free direction has added an extra spark to the instruction.


Through 2012, there have been 44 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps drawing 5,668 youth participants from 53 Kentucky counties, 13 other states, and two other countries – England and Mexico.