George Wilson, who played at the old Dunbar High School in the early 1960s, was among the class of 2016 Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame inductees announced Tuesday at the Lexington Center.
Wilson was runner-up to Wes Unseld in Mr. Basketball voting in 1964. He was named to the all-state first team and all-state tournament teams in 1963 and 1964. Wilson now contributes at the Dunbar Community Center, where he helps kids learn the game.
S.T. Roach, the longtime Dunbar Bearcats coach, instilled a sense of discipline in Wilson that he credited for his success in life.
“We had different standards if you were on that basketball team,” Wilson said. “There’s things that you had to do that he expected from us and that meant a lot. Most of the guys who were on that squad got it from home anyway but Coach made sure we kept it.”
Scott County Coach Billy Hicks, the state’s all-time leader with 910 wins, is also among the 17 players and coaches who will be inducted July 9 in Elizabethtown. He coached at Evarts, Harlan and Corbin before arriving at Scott County.
Hicks’ Cardinals went 29-6 this season despite a roster with just one senior and whose top two scorers were freshmen.
Randy Napier, the state’s winningest girls’ coach with a record of 840-257, will be inducted in July as well. He won a state title at M.C. Napier in 1994 and now coaches at Perry County Central, where he’s won nine of his 10 region titles.
“This is overhwhelming,” Napier said. “To be sitting here with all these legendary people in the history of basketball. You sit here and wonder ‘How in the heck did I get invited to this?’”
All the individuals who will be inducted are part of the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame’s centennial, honoring the top 100 players and coaches to coincide with the sport’s 100th anniversary under KHSAA governance.
A Hall of Fame facility is under construction in Elizabethtown and set to open ahead of the 2017 induction ceremony.
“We’ve got something great here and I’m glad to see we’re trying to hang on to it,” Hicks said.
2016 Hall of Fame class
Ralph Richardson, Russell County: Co-Mr. Basketball in 1958; all-state in 1957, 1958.
Harry Todd, Earlington: Co-Mr. Basketball in 1958; all-state in 1956, 1957, 1958.
Tom Thacker, William Grant: Averaged 32 points as a junior and senior, reaching the state tournament both seasons.
Jim Rose, Hazard (deceased): Led the Bulldogs to three straight Sweet 16s from 1964-1966.
Dwight Smith, Princeton Dotson (deceased): Led school to Sweet 16 in 1963, its last season before consolidation.
George Wilson, Dunbar: Mr. Basketball runner-up in 1964.
Jeff Lamp, Ballard: Mr. Basketball in 1977 who scored 119 points in the 1977 state tournament.
Darius Miller, Mason County: 2008 Mr. Basketball who led Royals to state title that year.
Bobby Turner, Male: First team all-state in 1974, 1975, 1976.
Donna Moir, Sacred Heart: Coach has won more than 500 games at the school where she also starred as a player. Won consecutive state titles in 2002, 2003 and 2004 as a coach.
Randy Napier, M.C. Napier/Perry County Central: State’s winningest girls’ basketball coach with more than 800 wins.
Pearl Combs, Vicco/Hindman (deceased): Coach won 760 games, six regional titles and the 1943 state championship.
Stan Hardin, Fairdale: Won three 6th Region championships and back-to-back state titles in 1990 and 1991.
Billy Hicks, Evarts/Harlan/Corbin/Scott County: State’s winningest basketball coach with more than 900 wins.
Carly Ormerod, Sacred Heart: Won three consecutive state championships at Sacred Heart and was twice named MVP of the Sweet 16.
Gene Rhodes, Male: First-team all-state in 1945 and 1946. Made three straight Sweet 16 appearances as a player before coaching at Male and St. Xavier.
Donnis Butcher, Meade Memorial (deceased): First-team all-state in 1955, when he got Meade out to a 32-0 start before falling to Pikeville in the 15th Region finals.