Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame
2015 (July) Inductees
(Pikeville High School, 1946-1950)
One of the greatest shooters ever to come out of the mountains, Dickie Prater led the Pikeville Panthers to consecutive KHSAA state tournament appearances in 1949 and 1950.He scored over 2,000 career points, averaging 29 points per game his senior year. He was selected to the Louisville Invitational All-Tournament team in both his junior and senior years. He was named first team All-state in 1949 and 1950 leading the balloting for the All-State team his senior year. Adolph Rupp signed Prater to a scholarship after a brilliant High School career,
(Scott County High School, 1991-1995)
Named Miss Kentucky Basketball in 1995, Ukari was also named All-State in 1994 and 1995. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the '95 KHSAA State Tournament which her Scott County Cardinals won. Her thirty-three (33) assists for the '95 tournament (11 in one game) puts her among the elite in girls' basketball tournament history. She later played on a NCAA Championship team at Purdue University and was MVP of the Final Four. As a professional, she would also play on a championship team making her career accomplishments extraordinary in Kentucky basketball history.
(Owensboro High School, 1969-1972)
Jerry led the Owensboro Red Devils to a KHSAA State Championship in 1972. Named to the KHSAA All-Tournament teams of 1971 and 1972, he was also given the honor of being named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1972. Jerry, known for his athleticism and versatile game, received first team All-State recognition in his junior and senior year. Jerry Thruston’s family is well known in Owensboro for their contribution to the storied Red Devil basketball tradition.
(St. Xavier High School, 1958-1962)
Named an All-Stater for three years, Mike led the St. Xavier Tigers to a KHSAA Championship Title in 1962. Averaging 24 points a game his senior season, he was named Mr. Kentucky Basketball in 1962. Able to dribble, shoot, and rebound with ease, Silliman earned the nickname ‘The Gentle Giant’. He went on to have an outstanding career at West Point and was a starter on the 1968 Olympic Team that won the gold medal.
(Madisonville High School, 1985-1989)
Scoring 2,676 points and dishing out 677 assists during his high school career are part of the reasons Travis received All-State recognition for the 1987, 1988, and 1989 seasons. He was named to the KHSAA All-Tournament Team in 1989, while also receiving accolades as a Parade and McDonald’s All-American. Travis became a huge crowd favorite at the University of Kentucky where he finished his playing career. He is currently the head men’s basketball coach at Oklahoma State University.
Jimmy Dan Conner
(Anderson County High School, 1967-1971)
Jimmy Dan was named Mr. Kentucky Basketball in 1971 while also receiving Parade All-American honors that same year. He was named first team All-State in both 1970 and 1971. While leading the Anderson County Bearcats to a runner-up finish in the 1971 Sweet 16 and being named to the all-tournament team that same year, Jimmy Dan “wowed” the crowd with his high arching jump shot and classic style. Conner signed a basketball scholarship with the University of Kentucky where he enjoyed a stellar career.
(Paintsville High School, 1983-1987)
John Pelphrey led the Paintsville Tigers to Sweet 16 appearances in 1985, 1986, and 1987. He scored 2,497 career points and garnered 1318 rebounds. For his efforts, he was named All-State his sophomore through senior years. He was named Mr. Kentucky Basketball as well as a Parade All-American in 1987. He would later become one of the “Unforgettables” at the University of Kentucky under Coach Rick Pitino. John is currently coaching basketball at the University of Florida.
(Daviess County High School, 1954-1958)
Bobby was named to the KHSAA All-Tournament team in 1957 and 1958. He also received recognition as a High School All-American in 1958. Scoring 103 points in the 1958 state tournament makes Bobby among the great scoring leaders in Sweet 16 history. He also received All-State team recognition in 1957 and 1958. He went on to have a great college career at Western Kentucky University under legendary Coach Ed Diddle.
(Lafayette High School, 1956-1960)
In the legendary history of Lafayette High School basketball, Jeff Mullins is recognized as one of its greatest players. He was an All-State performer in 1959 and 1960 and is considered one of the “purest” shooters in Kentucky basketball history. He was named Mr. Kentucky Basketball in 1960. His success at Lafayette propelled him into becoming an All-American guard at Duke University where his jersey was later retired. He had a thirteen year All-Star NBA career and later coached at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
(Male High School, 1979-1983)
Winston was one of the most powerful and physical athletes to ever play high school basketball in Kentucky. A fierce competitor, his rebounding and defense were equal to his outstanding offensive skills. He was named All-State in 1981, 1982, and 1983. In 1983 he was named Mr. Kentucky Basketball and a high school All-American. He led Male High School to national recognition in his senior year. Winston signed a scholarship with the University of Kentucky where he had a highly successful career.
(Fairdale High School, 1987-1991)
Jermaine’s outstanding play was a key factor in bringing KHSAA Championships to Fairdale High School in 1990 and 1991. He was also named first team All-State in 1990 and 1991. During his junior and senior seasons, Jermaine was named the KHSAA Sweet 16 Most Valuable Player. Scoring over 2,000 career points with more than 1000 rebounds, Jermaine became Kentucky’s Gatorade Player of the Year and Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1991.
(Olmstead High School, 1977-1981)
Lillie averaged 34 points and 15 rebounds as a senior at Olmstead High School. She scored over 2,500 points while shooting 67% from the field and 84% from the free throw line. She was named to the All-State team in 1980 and 1981, as well as to the Parade and Converse All-American teams. She was named Miss Kentucky Basketball in 1981and and went on to a distinguished career at Western Kentucky University where she was named an All-American.
Coach John Bill Trivette
(Pikeville High School, 1943-1960)
One of Kentucky’s most innovative basketball coaches, Coach Trivette developed a full court pressing defense in the early 1950’s that made defense an offensive weapon. He started the East-West All-Star game in Pikeville, Kentucky, in 1949 which was the first state-wide All-Star series. He took his “pressing Panthers” throughout the state each year playing in five Louisville Invitational Tournaments and seven Sweet 16’s from 1949-1960. In those eleven years, the Panthers won 80% of their games, eleven consecutive district championships, seven regional titles, and a third place Sweet 16 finish in 1957. He was named Kentucky’s high school Coach of the Year in1957.
Coach Jock Sutherland
(Lafayette High School, 1955-1979)
In the early part of his long career, Coach Sutherland was tagged as being the ‘Quickest Thinking Coach in America’. He is one of the very few to have taken three different teams to the KHSAA State Championships; Gallatin County in 1959, Harrison County in 1966, and Lafayette in 1979. Coach Sutherland led the Lafayette Generals to a KHSAA State Championship in 1979 while also receiving Coach of the Year honors. His wit and personality made him one of the most entertaining coaches in our state’s history.
Coach Ron Bevars
(North Hardin High School, 1975-2013)
A career spanning 38 years, and coaching over 1,150 games, has made Coach Bevars one of the five winningest coaches in Kentucky basketball history. He has achieved over 800 victories, all at North Hardin High School. His teams have won 12 KHSAA Regional Championships. They were KHSAA State Tournament semi-finalists in 2001 and 2002 and KHSAA State Tournament Runner-up in 1982. Coach Bevars served as president of the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches and has been an active promoter of its rich history.
Coach Earle Jones
(Maysville High School, 1931-1955)
Coach Jones had a record of 470 wins with only 80 losses for his career. His teams made several trips to the KHSAA State Tournament winning a total of 19 tournament games. The Bulldogs were State Champions in 1947, and he was named Coach of the Year. Coach Earle Jones was one of the icons of the early “Golden Years” of Kentucky high school basketball. His remarkable success at small Maysville High School serves as a testament to his outstanding leadership skills.
(Sacred Heart Academy, Louisville, KY)
An innovator, trailblazer, leader, pioneer, and mentor have been some of the words used to describe Coach Daugherty’s efforts in the promotion of girls athletics. Coaching basketball for over 40 years, she was coaching basketball long before it came back on the KHSAA scene in 1975. She was recognized as Coach of the Year in 1976, the same year her Sacred Heart Academy team won the state championship. Bunny was also founder of the very prestigious LIT tournament which recognizes and brings in some of the best basketball team talent in the state.
Beth Wilkerson Hammond
(Paris High School, Paris, KY)
A Kentucky Miss Basketball in 1979, Beth was also recognized as a 1st team Parade All-American. She was selected by the state’s sportswriters as Kentucky’s Female Athlete of the Year, a member of the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star Team, and a recipient of the national ‘Hertz #1 Award’. She scored over 1600 career points and was a member of the KHSAA State Tournament Teams of 1977, 1978, and 1979. All- State 1978, and 1979.
(Southern High School, Louisville, KY)
Scoring a tournament total of 98 points, Lisa led her Southern High School Trojans to the KHSAA State Championship in 1988. Lisa was also named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. In addition to being named Kentucky’s Miss Basketball in 1989, she was also named the Converse, Gatorade, Naismith, and USA Player of the Year. For two (2) years Lisa was named as part of the Parade All-America team. Named All-State 1987, 1988, and 1989.
(Sacred Heart Academy, Louisville, KY)
A two-time Gatorade Player of the Year, Crystal was part of the Sacred Heart KHSAA State championship teams of 2002, 2003, and 2004. Named MVP 2003. In 2004, she was named Associated Press Player of the Year and All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), Street and Smith, and Parade. In addition to selection on All-State Teams, Crystal was named Miss Kentucky Basketball in 2004. In her career, she scored 2377 points and had 1478 rebounds.
(Henry Clay High School, Lexington, KY)
As a player and then as the coach, his home was always at Henry Clay High. His coaching career record of wins and losses was 654-237. The Blue Devil teams made eight (8) KHSAA Sweet Sixteen appearances earning a state title in 1983, in a classic game with Carlisle County. Coach Prewitt’s legendary career was capped of with the Henry Clay gym being named in his honor and his induction into the KHSAA Hall of Fame in 1996.
(Pleasure Ridge Park High SChool, Louisville, KY)
In 1981, Coach Mabrey began his head coaching career. For the last thirty-two years, he has been at one place and that is PRP. This year he reached a milestone of 800 + wins, a mark that only about 50 coaches in the United States have attained. His Pleasure Ridge Park teams have made 13 KHSAA State Tournament appearances with a state title championship in 1989. Coach Mabrey has produced numerous All-State players that went on to star at the collegiate level. State Runner-Up in 1986 and 1995.
(Hartford High School)
A basketball star, Johnny led the Hartford Mustangs to the 1941 and 1942 KHSAA State Basketball Tournaments. His performance led him to be named to the 1942 All-Tournament team and the Kentucky-Indiana All Star team. His high school career led him to becoming a star player and legendary coach at Western Kentucky University. Led WKU to the Final Four in 1971. Western's basketball court is named in his honor.
(Lafayette High SChool, Lexington, KY)
He helped lead his Lafayette Generals to the state championship in 1953. In addition to being named to the All-Tournament team, Vernon also received high school All-American status. He was named to the All-State Teams both in 1953 and 1954. Vernon was also named the first Kentucky Mr. Basketball in 1954, and went on to have an outstanding career at the University of Kentucky.
(Madisonville High SChool, Madisonville, KY)
A fierce competitor, Frank led his Maroons to consecutive KHSAA State Tournament appearances in 1948 and 1949. He was also named to the All-State Tournament Team in 1949.. Frank went on to have a legendary career at the University of Kentucky, starting on the only undefeated team. He then went on to have a stellar career during the dynasty days of the Boston Celtics.
(Central City High School, Central City, KY)
Corky led Central City to three consecutive KHSAA Sweet Sixteen appearances, 1954, 1955, and 1956. During his high school career, he scored over 3100 points. He was named first team All-American in 1956 (Dell magazine), and a member of several all-star teams including the Kentucky All Stars in 1956. A four-year starter at Central City High, Corky was also named twice to the KHSAA All-Tournament Team.
(Central High School, Louisville, KY)
A Central Yellow Jacket, Ron led his team to the 1969 KHSAA State Championship title. Scoring 44 points in the title game, he was named to the Tournament All-State Team. His other accolades included being named a high school All-American, All-State, and Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1969. He went on to star at Florida State.
(Seneca High School, Louisville, KY)
A three-time All-State performer, Mike led his Seneca team to the KHSAA Sweet Sixteen Title in 1963. Mike averaged 26.5 points a game during his senior year with his silky, smooth style of play. Being selected as part of the All-Tournament Team, Mike was also named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1963. He was also recognized as a member of the Parade All-American team in 1963.
(Bryan Station High School, Lexington, KY)
Jack was named to the All-State Team 1972, 1973, and 1974. All-State Tournament Team in 1972 and 1974. He was a recognized high school All-American player. He was part of the Bryan Station team that made two trips to the state tournament and was named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1974. Jack became a Lexington legend and led him on to a very successful career at the University of Kentucky.
(Owensboro High School, Owensboro, KY)
Kenny was a recognized high school All-American and received All-State Tournament Team recognition the ’72, ’73, and ’74 seasons. In 1972, he helped lead his Owensboro team to the KHSAA State Championship, scoring 28 points in the championship game. He went on to have an outstanding career at LSU.
(Virgie High School, Virgie, KY)
Todd let his Virgie High School basketball team to the state tournament in 1981 and 1982. He was named to the All-State Tournament Team both years, Most Valuable Player in 1982, and named a member of the high school All-American team. During his high school career, Todd scored over 2500 points with over 1400 rebounds. In his senior year alone, he scored an average of 31 points a game with 16 rebounds. To cap off his outstanding playing career, he was named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1982.
(Mason County High School, Maysville, KY)
Scoring 252 points in 10 state tournament games, 2003 and 2004, and maintaining a record made 17 three-pointers in the 2003 state tournament has kept Chris at the top of the record books. Helping his Royals to the KHSAA State Championship in 2003, he was also named the tournament Most Valuable Player. Scoring 2763 points in his high school career, Chris was named Kentucky Mr. Basketball in 2004. He also received accolades as the Gatorade Player of the Year, and Associated Press Player of the Year. All-State Tournament Team 2002, 2003, and 2004.
(Kuttawa High School, 1940)
Fulks helped modernize the game’s style of play with his skill and finesse more than any player before him. His refinement of the one-handed shot into a jump shot gave him legendary status. He played at Kuttawa his senior year, when he led the Lions to the Sweet 16. He later became a star at Murray State and in the NBA, where he scored 63 points in a game.
(Cuba High School, 1952)
Crittenden was a crowd-pleaser at the 1951 and ’52 state tournaments. Named All-Tournament and All-State in both seasons, he helped Cuba win the state title in 1952. He went on to play at Murray State.
(Clark County High School, 1952)
Puckett was the last of seven brothers who played for Clark County. He led Clark County to the 1951 state championship. He was a three-time All-State honoree. Puckett was also named to the All-Tournament teams following the 1950, ’51 and ’52 state tournaments. He played on the 1954 University of Kentucky team which finished 24-0.
(Hazard High School, 1955)
Cox led Hazard to the 1955 state championship, scoring 127 points in the tournament and earning All-Tournament honors. Cox was All-State and Mr. Basketball in 1955, earning a scholarship to Kentucky. He was a member of the “Fiddlin’ Five” national championship team.
Billy Ray Lickert
(Lexington Lafayette, 1957)
Lickert led Lafayette to the state championship in 1957, scoring 26 points in the championship game. He was named All-State in 1956 and ’57 and was named Mr. Basketball in ’57. He played with Cox at UK.
(Ashland High School, 1962)
Conley helped Ashland win the 1961 state championship and a runner-up finish in ’62. He was All-State in 1961 and ’62 and played at Kentucky on the 1966 national championship team.
Alfred "Butch" Beard
(Breckinridge County, 1965)
Beard led the Fighting Bearcats to consecutive title games in 1964 and ’65, helping the team win it all in ’65. He was twice named All-State and was named Mr. Basketball in 1965. He played at the University of Louisville alongside Wes Unseld. He was a highly successful NBA player and coach.
(Shelby County, 1966)
Casey was a high school All-American in 1966, when he led the Rockets to the state title and was named Mr. Basketball. He was named All-State twice and went on to star at Kentucky.
Murphy’s fluid motion, leaping ability and left-handed jump shot helped propel the popularity of girls’ basketball in its early days. Murphy was selected the Most Valuable Player of the 1975 state tournament after she scored 67 points and grabbed 50 rebounds. She was the first winner of Miss Basketball in 1976 as well as the recipient of the Joe Billy Mansfield Award for academic and athletic achievement. She signed with Morehead State.
(Laurel County, 1979)
Garland helped Laurel County win three state championships, leading the team in scoring in all three championship games. No other player in girls’ state tournament history has ever won three state championships and led their team in scoring all three games. She was a three-time All-State selection before playing at Western Kentucky University.
(Louisville Ballard, 1989)
Houston, who went on to play for the New York Knicks, led Ballard to the 1989 state title and was that season’s Mr. Basketball. He earned All-American honors as a senior and played at the University of Tennessee.
(Fort Thomas Highlands, 1996)
Walz-Richey was named Parade Magazine National Player of the Year, Gatorade Circle of Champions and Kentucky’s Miss Basketball in 1996. She holds the state scoring record (4,948 points) and played at Western Kentucky.
VanHoose was one of only a handful of players to record over 3,000 points, 2,000 rebounds and 500 blocks during his prep career. He led Paintsville to the state title in 1996 and a runner-up finish in ’98. He was named the MVP of the 1996 tourney, 1998 Mr. Basketball and 1998 Parade All-American.
Coach William Kean
(Louisville Central, 1922-58)
Kean is considered a pioneer of desegregation of athletics in the Bluegrass. His teams won 856 games and lost just 83. Kean won five state championships in the Kentucky Basketball League and four national titles in the National Negro High School Tournament. Kean is the grandfather of Allan Houston.
Coach Letcher Norton
(Clark County/Trapp High School, 1935-62)
Norton became a coaching legend over three decades. After starting his career at Trapp High, Norton led Clark County to eight regional titles, a state title in 1951 and a runner-up finish in 1960. He was named state Coach of the Year three times. Norton won 575 games.
Coach Bobby Watson
Watson was an All-State guard at Owensboro and returned to lead his alma mater to 14 regional championships and two state titles (1972, 1980) in 23 seasons. He had 537 career wins.
Coach Howard Beth
(Marshall County, 1980-2010)
Marshall County won 11 consecutive region titles under Beth, who led his team to three state finals apperances. He had a runner-up finish in 1981 and captured two state titles in 1982 and 1984. The 1984 team was undefeated going 34-0. His 794 wins are the most for any girls’ coach in the history of Kentucky high school basketball.
With the arrival of girl's Basketball in the 1970's, it took little time for the Laurel County Lady Cardinals to establish dominance. Leading the way was Coach Roy Bowling who would guide the Cardinals form 1974 through the 1989 season. During these 15 years his teams would "chalk up" 403 wins while losing only 61.
Along the way Roy's teams would win 19 District, 8 Regional and 4 State titles – 3 of which came during a remarkable stretch in 1977, 1978, and 1979. The 4th State title was earned in 1987.
Setting a state record, Coach Bowling's Lady Cards won 73 consecutive games.
Roy Bowling finished his High School coaching career by building a successful program at Louisville Mercy High.
From Kavanaugh High School where he played in two State Tournaments, Ralph Carlisle would launch a legendary coaching career at Lexington Lafayette from 1945 through 1961.
As Coach of the "Generals" he accumulated 11 District titles and 6 Regional championships. In 6 State Tournament trips his teams played in 4 title games—winning three championships in 1950, '53 and '57.
His career win total of 488 helped earn him 2 "Coach of the Year" honors and his peers chose him as "Coach of the Decade" for the 1950's.
Described as the fastest, most aggressive and competitive player of his era, Ralph Beard was the first 4-sport letterman in Louisville Male High history. From 1941 through 1945 Ralph led his Bulldogs to a 1943 State Baseball Championship, and both a State Track Championship and a State Basketball title in 1945.
His burning desire to "Always Be the Best" led him to be named two time "All-state" in Basketball – as well as "High-School All-American" honors. His post-high school career included an NIT Championship, an NIT Runner-Up, 2 NCAA Championships and a 1948 Olympic Gold medal. In 2011 Male High School honored his memory by naming its playing floor as "Ralph Beard Court."
A true gentleman, scholar, teacher and community leader - S. T. Roach guided the Lexington Dunbar "Bearcats" basketball program from 1943 through 1965.
Coming from Bate High in Danville where he was an "All-State" basketball player, he eventually returned as head coach of his Alma Mater. Here Coach Roach won 98 games before becoming head coach at Lexington Dunbar High.
At Dunbar, S. T. built a dynasty while winning 512 games and capturing 6 Regional titles and 2 "Kentucky High School Athletic League" State Championships.
S. T. Roach set lifetime examples for his players while overcoming obstacles and difficulties with "class" and "dignity."
In the early 1960's changes came and he led his Bearcat teams into 2 "KHSAA" Sweet Sixteen Tournaments.
Any of his former players will tell you that the legacy of S. T. Roach is about much more than just basketball.
Playing for the Warren Central High Dragons from 1979 through 1983, Clemette Haskins proved to be one of the most versatile and talented athletes to ever grace the courts of the Commonwealth.
Her accumulated totals of 2,856 points, 1,731 rebounds, 857 assists and 533 steals proved her skills as both an individual and team player and earned Clemette many honors including "Kentucky Athlete of the Year" and Kentucky's Miss Basketball" in 1983.
In this same 1983 season she led her "Dragons" to a State Championship followed by being named as a "Kodak All-American."
In 27 years as head coach of the Clay County "Tigers," Bobby Keith led his teams to 767 victories. Along the way he set a state record with 18 "Sweet Sixteen" appearances – seven of these consecutively from 1984 through 1990. In 1987 his "Tigers" took home the championship trophy by winning in front of 24,000 people in Rupp Arena.
He was two-time runner-up in '85 and '88 and from 1984 through '93 his teams amassed an amazing total of 129 straight home court victories.
Five times Coach Keith has been honored as the "Kentucky High School Coach of the Year". He was named "Kentucky Coach of the Decade" for the 1980's as well as being recognized as "National Coach of the Year" in his tenure as the Tiger's head coach.
Playing for the Owensboro High "Red Devils" from 1945 through 1949, Cliff Hagan broke all his high school scoring records. With great quickness, strength and a picture-perfect hook shot, the 6"4" center led his '49 Red Devil Team to a State Championship win over Lexington Lafayette.
His title-game performance – including 41 points – is still regarded as one of the "Sweet Sixteen's" greatest all-around performances.
Three times named as "First-Team All-State," Cliff would go on to win an NCAA championship, an NBA Championship and then served as Athletics Director at his Alma-Mater – the University of Kentucky.
From humble beginnings on a Taylor County tenant farm, Clem Haskins earned his way to basketball glory. With dignity and class throughout his life, Clem proved to be a true pioneer who – along the way - opened doors for others of his race. Playing first for Campbellsville Durham in '59 through '61, Clem "The Gem" made the decision to transfer to all-white Taylor County High for his Junior and Senior seasons. Here, the big, quick, sharp-shooting guard led his team to the 1963 State 'Sweet Sixteen" one generally regarded as an important pivotal point in our high school sport's history. While at Taylor County, Clem earned "All-State" and "All-American" honors.
Following high school Clem and Dwight Smith became the first two black players to don the "Hilltopper" jerseys of Western Kentucky. An outstanding professional career followed.
The first female high school superstar in the modern era of Kentucky High School Basketball was the high-scoring Geri Grigsby of the "McDowell High "Dare-Devils."
From 1975 through 1977, Geri amassed a three-season total of 4,385 points on her way to earning 3 First Team "All-State" honors.
Her 49.8 senior season scoring average is still a state and national record as is her 81 points in a single game during her junior season.
She was Kentucky's "Miss Basketball" in 1977, "Kentucky Sportswoman of the Year" in 1978 and has since been inducted in the "National High School Hall of Fame.
"King" Kelly Coleman
No legend looms larger in Kentucky High School sports than that of Kelly Coleman of the Wayland High "Wasps." Playing from 1952 through 1956, the colorful "King" Kelly amassed a staggering 4,337 career points and a senior season scoring average of 46.8—all without the benefit of the 3-point shot.
The two-time "All-Stater" led his "Wasps" to a 3rd place finish in the exciting 1956 Sweet Sixteen tournament. Often referred to as "King Kelly's Tournament," Coleman set a single game scoring record of 68 points and 29 rebounds – records that still stand unchallenged 56 years later.
"King" Kelly's legendary High-school career ended with him being named as Kentucky's "Mr. Basketball" in '56 and as a "Dell Sports" Magazine First Team "All-American."
Wallace "Wah-Wah" Jones
Wallace "Wah-Wah" Jones is generally regarded as one of the greatest "all-around" athletes ever produced in Kentucky. Playing for the Harlan High "Green Dragons," Wallace proved to be an "All-State" performer in basketball, football and baseball.
Scoring 2,398 career points – then a national record – "Wah-Wah" was named "First-team All State" in basketball 3 times. His Harlan team made 4 trips to the State Tournament including 1944 when they won the title.
His post-high school career was equally phenomenal as he was an "All-American" at the University of Kentucky as part of "The Fabulous Five," winning both an NCAA Championship and an Olympic Gold Medal in 1948.
From 1963 through 1967 Jim McDaniels played high school basketball for the Allen County Patriots. With little background or experience in the sport, Jim developed quickly under the guidance of friends and coaches. By the end of his high school years, the 7-foot center had scored over 3,000 points and pulled down over 2,000 rebounds – 1 of only 4 players ever in the state's history to do it.
During his senior season in 1967, Jim averaged an astounding 38 points and 25 rebounds per game while leading his team to a trip to the State Tournament.
Named as Kentucky's "Mr. Basketball" in 1967, Jim McDaniels teamed with other future "Hilltopper" teammates to defeat the "Indiana All-Stars" in Louisville.
In this game Jim completely dominated with 42 points – something he frequently did in "Freedom Hall."
In 1967 he was named as an "All-American" and followed with a brilliant career at Western Kentucky and the Pros.
No Kentucky High School player of the mid-1970's played with more athleticism and ability than the legendary Darrell Griffith of Louisville Male High. Known for his amazing jumping and dunking abilities, Darrell was both respected and feared by his opponents as he led the "Bulldogs" to 3 State Championship games including 1975 when they won it all.
In both '75 and '76 Darrel earned "All-Tournament" honors as well as "All-State" honors.
In 1976 it came as a surprise to no one when he was named "Kentucky's Mr. Basketball" as well as high school "All-American."
A highly successful college career with "The Doctors of Dunk" at the University of Louisville resulted in the school's 1st NCAA Championship.
A long and fruitful NBA career followed.
From 1982 through 1986 no one in Kentucky played high school ball with more flair and athleticism than Rex Chapman of Owensboro Apollo High. Packing gymnasiums wherever his Eagles played, the Owensboro native excited the crowds with feats of athletic ability seldom seen on basketball courts.
In his Junior season of 1985 "King Rex" led his team to the quarterfinals of the "Sweet Sixteen." His list of individual honors is long and includes "Kentucky Mr. Basketball" for 1986, "Gatorade State Player of the Year," "Parade All-American," "A.P. Player of the Year" and "McDonalds's All-American" in his Senior year.
Added to the long list of outstanding eastern Kentucky sharp shooters and high-scorers is the name of Clay County High's Richie Farmer. Playing for the Tigers from 1984 through 1988, Richie let his teams to an incredible 3 State Tournament Title Games during his 5 trips to the "Sweet Sixteen." Along the way he broke numerous scoring records.
His career was capped off by a 1987 State Championship in which he earned the Tourney's "Most Valuable Player" award. Following the championship year, Richie gave a legendary 52 point performance against Ballard High in the 1988 title game. Three times he earned selection to the "All-State" team.
His senior season Richie was named Kentucky's "Mr. Basketball".
Recognized as one of the most dominating centers in Kentucky High School history, Wes Unseld played for Louisville Seneca High from 1961 to 1964. His reputation as an outlet-passer, rebounder and defensive player is unequaled and his record totals of 72 and 88 rebounds in the '63 and '64 State Tournaments remain unchallenged.
With 2 State Tourney Titles in '63 and '64 and the title of Kentucky's "Mr. Basketball in '64," Wes took his talents on to a successful college career at the University of Louisville followed by a long and stellar career in the NBA.
His NBA career is highlighted by a "Most Valuable Player" Award and his induction into the "Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame."