LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - Former University of Kentucky basketball star Jeff Sheppard is making his annual tour through Eastern Kentucky with Operation UNITE, conducting a series of basketball camps called "Shoot Hoops, Not Drugs."
One of those camps took place Monday in Laurel County at Bush Elementary School, giving hundreds of kids the chance to improve their basketball skills and learn about the dangers of drug abuse.
"If you start now and you built their self esteem and their confidence. then when they're faced with a difficult choice, hopefully they're going to make the right choice," said Lon Wagner, a spokesman for Ameritox, which sponsored the camps.
Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., attended the camp Monday.
"They're subject to peer pressure," Rogers said. "They want to do what their fellow kids are doing. So we're trying to break that connection, let them think on their own."
While the kids were on the court, parents were in the school library, learning ways to protect their children from drugs.
"It's just important that we keep fighting," Sheppard said. "We never give up. Keep doing programs in each community that educate the kids and the parents and the grandparents and we keep striving for championships."
Other "Shoot Hoops, Not Drugs" camps taking place:
Perry County, Tuesday, July 1, at East Perry Elementary School in Hazard
Johnson County, Monday, July 7, at Johnson Central Middle School in Paintsville
Boyd County, Tuesday, July 8, at Boyd County High School in Ashland
Harlan County, Thursday, July 10, at Harlan County High School in Baxter