When you set fire to a decades-old scoring record, as Jenkins senior Whitney Creech did this season, you tend to get noticed by fans, coaches and scouts. But there aren’t many high schoolers who can say that basketball’s most prestigious institution recognized their accomplishment before they graduated high school. Creech can.
She received a letter from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tuesday congratulating her for what she accomplished over her high school career. Creech finished as Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer at 5,527 points and is the only player, boy or girl, to reach 5,000 points in state history. She passed Highlands’ Jaime Walz, who finished her career with 4,948 points and was Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer since 1996.
Her scoring mark over grades 9-12 — the only grades for which the National Federation of State High School Associations recognizes stats for its record keeping — is 4,462, fifth most in national history. As a senior Creech averaged a state-high 50.4 points per game (the state’s highest ever for a girls’ season) and 14.3 rebounds per game, second-most in the state this season. She scored 1,660 points, the third-highest single-season output by any boys’ or girls’ player in state history.
“On behalf of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and its Board of Governors and Trustees, I would like to congratulate you on a high school basketball career that was clearly one for the records books,” wrote John Doleva, president and CEO of the Hall of Fame. Doleva also said he’d be following Creech’s college career. She signed with Western Kentucky in November.
Hall of Fame historian and curator Matt Zeysing has been in touch with Creech’s family and plans to follow up with Jenkins Coach Ashley Addington soon to help organize for a game-worn jersey to be sent to the Hall of Fame for display.
“Just crazy,” Addington wrote in a text message.
The Naismith Hall of Fame is located in Springfield, Mass. University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari and former Wildcat Louie Dampier were inducted as part of its 2015 class.