For the first time since the Wah Wah Jones Award was created four years ago to recognize exemplary multi-sport athletes, an athlete from Harlan will receive the honor named after the school’s most distinguished graduate
Noah Busroe, a senior who has played basketball, baseball, football and ran track during his career, was named this year’s recipient in a news release from the Kentucky Lion’s Eye Foundation. Busroe has been a varsity center fielder for four seasons, last year recording a 100-percent steal percentage. He’s led the basketball team in minutes played since he joined in for the 2013-14 season and owns the school record time in the 40-yard dash, 4.48 seconds.
Busroe told the Foundation his biggest accomplishment was convincing three Harlan freshmen to join him on the track team so the school could field a 4-by-100 relay team.
“Watching my younger teammates grow in confidence and ability with each race and celebrating our victories together was something that I will never forget,” Busroe said.
Harlan doubled up in the honors, as girls’ basketball standout Jordan Brock was named the third annual recipient of the Donna L.J. Murphy Award. Harlan became the first school to win both awards.
Brock, a senior who’s in her sixth season of varsity basketball at Harlan, has scored more than 2,000 points in her career and led the Dragons to the 2016 Girls’ Sweet Sixteen, their first appearance since 1999. The Tennessee Tech signee has played in five All “A” Classic state tournaments and helped Harlan make its first run to the small-school tournament finals this season.
Both Busroe and Brock will be presented with their awards during the Mr. and Miss Basketball banquets in the Bluegrass Ballroom of the Lexington Center on March 14. Brock is expected to be a candidate for Miss Basketball.
Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, who died in 2014, was an All-American basketball and football player at the University of Kentucky and is the only athlete in school history to have his jersey retired in both sports. Jones led Harlan to the 1944 Sweet Sixteen title and won a gold medal in basketball in the 1948 Olympics.
Donna Murphy, an All-American at Newport who was the first player to be named Miss Basketball. Nineteen nominations were submitted from across the state to Murphy for the award, which was began in 2015 as a way to recognize female basketball seniors who exemplify being a great student-athlete.
Wah Wah Jones Award winners
2014: Blake Ellis (Russell County)
2015: Justin Graham (Rowan County)
2017: Noah Busroe (Harlan)
Donna L.J. Murphy Award winners
2015: Morgan Rich (Allen County-Scottsville)
2017: Jordan Brock (Harlan)