Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame
(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."