The Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame announced the final 18 members of its centennial class during a news conference Tuesday at the Lexington Marriott Griffin Gate.
New members will be officially inducted as part of a ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. on July 22 at the State Theater in Elizabethtown. At 11 a.m. that day, the Hall of Fame will celebrate the grand opening of its building as part of a weekend-long celebration of its first 100 inductees. The KHSBHF began inducting members in 2009 to coincide with the centennial year of high school basketball in the state of Kentucky.
Former Elizabethtown star Erin Boley, a McDonald’s All-American who was named 2016 Miss Basketball winner and Gatorade’s National Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year, was among the inductees named. Boley, now a freshman at Notre Dame, will be the hall’s youngest member. She was not present for Tuesday’s event as Notre Dame, a No. 1 seed in the women’s NCAA Tournament, is preparing for its first-round matchup with Robert Morris scheduled for Friday.
Former Mr. Basketball winners Phil Cox, Robert Brooks and Kenneth Kuhn are among the new inductees. Brooks, who led Madison High to two Sweet Sixteen appearances, won the award in 1970 while Cox, the all-time leading scorer at Cawood, took the honor in 1981. Kuhn, who is deceased, won in 1955 at Male, where he also starred in baseball and football.
Lisa Collins, who led Laurel County to three consecutive girls’ Sweet Sixteen titles from 1977-1979, also is among the latest inductees. The 1980 Miss Basketball winner said it was “more cool than I could have ever imagined” to be inducted.
“When you’re younger you sometimes don’t get the full grasp of good things that happen to you, either personally or as a team,” Collins said. “... But when you are older and it’s a little farther away and something like this comes up, it just reminds you that you were part of something great and how many people it took to get you there.”
Former Berea and Lexington Catholic Coach Greg Todd, who guided LexCath to three state titles and two-runner-up finishes in seven seasons with the program, will go into the hall in July.
Another inductee with Lexington ties is Bobby Washington. The “Dunbar Kingpin” played on Dunbar High teams that reached the boys’ Sweet Sixteen in 1963, 1964 and 1965, and was an All-American and Kentucky All-Star in 1965.
Current University of Kentucky women’s basketball assistant Kyra Elzy, who led Oldham County to two Sweet Sixteen trips in the 1990s and was a 3,000-point scorer at the school, will be inducted.
Other inductees are:
▪ Darel Carrier, a 3,000-point scorer at Bristow, was named to All-State teams in 1959 and 1960.
▪ Valerie Combs, an All-State player in 1975 and 1976 at Butler, which won its first girls’ title in 1975.
▪ Mary Taylor Cowles, a former Marshall County star who was named Miss Basketball in 1987.
▪ Manuel Forrest, a 3,000-point scorer at Moore who was the leading vote-getter on the 1981 All-State team.
▪ Joe Harper, a coach who led Monticello to six boys’ Sweet Sixteens and won more than 500 games.
▪ Charlie Osborne, a Flat Gap standout who is second on the state’s all-time boys’ scoring list.
▪ Harold Sergent, the point guard on Ashland’s 1961 state championship team.
▪ Jack Upchurch, a star at Wayne County who later was named Kentucky Coach of the Year at Anderson County.
▪ Ray Vencil, who coached Madison High and Elizabethtown to the Sweet Sixteen.
▪ Russell Williamson, who coached Inez to a Sweet Sixteen title in 1941.