Five free Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball camps, taught by former University of Kentucky standout Jeff Sheppard, will be conducted in 2014. All participants will receive a free basketball, T-shirt and meal.The schedule for this year’s Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps is as follows: Monday, June 30 at Bush Elementary School in London; Tuesday, July 1 at East Perry Elementary School in Hazard; Monday, July 7 at Johnson County Middle School in Paintsville; Tuesday, July 8 at Boyd County High School in Ashland; Thursday, July 10 at Harlan County High School in Baxter.
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 400 caregivers attended programs at the 2013 camps.
All participants in the UNITE-sponsored camps received a specially designed event shirt, regulation autographed Shoot Hoops Not Drugs basketball, and were entered into a drawing for two portable basketball goals 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. Camps begin at 4 p.m. and concluded about 7 p.m.
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 2013 there have been 51 Shoot Hoops Not Drugs camps drawing 6,749 youth participants from 55 Kentucky counties, 15 other states, and two other countries – England and Mexico.