Former University of Kentucky basketball stars Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague will be putting on a clinic for area youth in June.
But the learning will be about more than just basketball.
Along with the dribbing and jump shots will be an educational program on tobacco use and curbing the alarming obesity rate, said organizer Mark Hannah.
“Now is a good time to do that, to teach them before they get bad habits started,” he said. “Like Barney Fife says, ‘Nip it in the bud.’ That’s what we plan on doing. You’ve got to get them before they get started. Tobacco and obesity are two major problems in this area.”
The basketball clinic will be June 20 through 22 at Russell High School’s Marvin Meredith Gymnasium. Lamb and Teague are the headliners. They were instrumental in helping UK win the 2012 national championship and are among a high-profile roster of Pros for America’s Youth, Inc.
“These guys are real interested in today’s youth and they’re athletes that the kids can relate to,” Hannah said.
Hannah’s no smoking program is something he has done in West Virginia, Virginia and Arizona with great success, he said. He does it through a crafty cartoon coloring book where students are introduced to kNOwtoabbacosaurus Rex.
“We ask them how did the dinosaurs become extinct and we get a lot of answers. Then we introduce them to kNOwtobaccosaurus Rex. That’s for the younger ones, they really love it.
“We’ll break the two groups up and talk to them separately.”
Hannah said part of the three-day basketball clinic will include a session on tobacco and obesity. They also show some high-energy tapes featuring celebrities.
He hopes to have the tobacco program in area schools in the fall.
The basketball clinic is for two age groups — 7 to 12 and 13 to 18. Cost is $150 for the three days. There will also be autograph sessions for the two NBA players.
“These two former UK players are committed to coming and teaching the fundamentals of the game to kids from this area,” Hannah said. “We think it will be an exciting three days for area youth.
“Hopefully we can keep this going (in future years). We’re obviously going to have a lot of NBA players as long as they have (John) Calipari as coach.”
Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor for the program or to find out more information about the clinic can call Hannah at (606) 465-2400 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.