High School Basketball

Podcast: Fellow Mr. Basketball winner remembers ‘King’ Kelly Coleman

Kelly Coleman, left, and J.R. VanHoose both won Kentucky Mr. Basketball awards during their prep careers.
Kelly Coleman, left, and J.R. VanHoose both won Kentucky Mr. Basketball awards during their prep careers.

“King” Kelly Coleman, of Wayland, died on Sunday. He was considered by many to be the greatest Kentucky high school basketball player who ever lived.

Coleman’s record of 4,337 career points, set in 1956, is still the most ever by a boys’ player in state history. His appearance in the 1956 state tournament is the stuff of legends. He was Kentucky’s first Mr. Basketball recipient.

J.R. VanHoose, who won the 1998 Mr. Basketball at Paintsville High School, became a close friend of Coleman’s in recent years. The Herald-Leader on Sunday spoke with VanHoose, who reflected on the time he got to spend with Coleman and on his life.

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