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Three past Mr. Basketballs open skills academy

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 9:58 PM EDT
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WAYLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - With gyms and athletic instructions opening back in a limited capacity, three mountain basketball legends have started a new venture to help inspire players in Eastern Kentucky all while bringing the sport back to a gym that has been vacant for nearly half a century.

“King Kelly played here. You think of the history,” said 1998 Mr. Basketball, JR VanHoose.

“I tried to think if we was to do something, how could we do something different,” said 2010 Mr. Basketball, Elisha Justice.

Cameron justice, Elisha Justice, and JR VanHoose have more in common than just being Kentucky Mr. Basketballs.

“I was raised here too. I know what it is like. I know what this place is going through,” said 2015 Mr. Basketball, Cameron Justice.

That is why the three are teaming up

“It is really all about these kids. Between the three of us, you got to think, we have 10 plus years of Division I basketball experience,” said VanHoose.

Elisha Justice reached out to Cameron and JR, starting Legends Skills Academy.

“I have watched kids come through the mountains and they have just had a lot of God-given ability and you look at them just ‘man if that kid would have had just a little more of this kind of instruction, I think he could have made that next jump,” said Elisha Justice.

Each player hosts private lessons in small groups geared to different positions.

“That is why I thought it was a really good combination because we all three have something different to offer,” said Justice.

Ages start from about 12 and up and even include players who have graduated from high school.

“We are trying to work with all different skill levels. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner and you have never shot a basketball before in your life,” said Cameron Justice.

All at an iconic staple for mountain basketball hoping to inspire the next wave of players to keep the legacy of mountain basketball alive.

“People were outside in the parking lot, they were asking questions about the gym. It was drumming up a lot of conversations. People were just stopping by to see kind of what was going on,” said VanHoose.

Legends Skills Academy says they will also accommodate one on one sessions and would even be willing to travel.

You can contact them through the Legend Skills Academy Facebook page.

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