Camron Justice of Knott County Central and Maci Morris of Bell County are Mr. and Miss Basketball, the first time the awards have been won by players from mountain regions in the same year.
Justice is the first-ever Mr. Basketball from the 14th Region. Morris is the first Miss Basketball from the 13th Region since Kim Mays of Knox Central in 1990.
They received their honors at the Mr. and Miss Basketball banquet at the Lexington Center's Bluegrass Ballroom on Tuesday night. The event is a fund-raiser for the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation.
Justice, a Vanderbilt signee, has led Knott Central to the Sweet Sixteen four years in a row. He averaged 23.8 points this season, and pushed his career total to 3,549 points. That's fourth on the state's all-time scoring list for boys. His 389 three-pointers rank third all-time.
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"To win Mr. Basketball, it's just crazy to be on that list of names," Justice said. "And to be the first from the 14th Region, with all the great players that have come through there, that means a lot, too."
Raymond Justice, Camron's dad and a Knott Central assistant, said his son "worked a lifetime" to become the best player he could be.
"He's literally worked at it since he was in the first grade, and by the sixth grade he made up his mind he wanted to play college basketball.
"And now, to be Mr. Basketball, it's an honor he'll have the rest of his life."
Morris, a University of Kentucky signee, led Bell County to its first Sweet Sixteen this year. She averaged 25.6 points, 7.9 rebounds this season. Morris had 3,368 career points, sixth on the state's all-time list for girls.
Morris said she was "blessed" to have won. "I felt I was one of the top contenders, but I was going up against some great players, so I was little bit surprised."
She didn't even mind that Joe B. Hall announced her as "Marci Morris" when he revealed she had won. "People get my name mixed up all the time," she said.
Besides, Joe B. Hall Is Mr. UK, and Morris will suit up for the Big Blue next season.
"I can't wait to be a Wildcat," she said.
Lewis Morris, Maci's dad who coaches Bell County's boys, was delighted that Mr. and Miss Basketball are from the mountains.
"This is just awesome," he said. "We need something good going on down there right now.
"They're both great kids, great players, and both worked exceptionally hard to get where they are."
The inaugural Donna Murphy Award, named after Kentucky's first Miss Basketball, went to Morgan Rich of Allen County-Scottsville as an outstanding student-athlete.
The Wah Wah Jones Award, named after the Harlan sports legend, went to Justin Graham of Rowan County as an outstanding multi-sport athlete and top student.