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Kentucky State’s Grant, Paducah’s Gaines named to small-college Hall

Kentucky State’s Travis Grant posed in 1972 after being presented with the Lapchick Trophy by Basketball News in New York. He held the trophy along with basketballs representing the NBA and ABA, signifying his selection as a first-round draft choice by the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and the ABA’s Utah Stars.
Kentucky State’s Travis Grant posed in 1972 after being presented with the Lapchick Trophy by Basketball News in New York. He held the trophy along with basketballs representing the NBA and ABA, signifying his selection as a first-round draft choice by the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and the ABA’s Utah Stars. AP

Former Kentucky State University standout Travis Grant and Paducah native Clarence “Big House” Gaines were among 15 players, coaches and contributors selected to the inaugural Small College Basketball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Small College Basketball was created to draw attention to schools below NCAA Division I.

The 2016 Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will be held Nov. 17 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind.

Grant, known as “The Machine” at Kentucky State, is one of college basketball’s all-time leading scorers with 4,045 points. The 6-foot-7 Grant led the Thorobreds to three straight NAIA national championships from 1970-72.

Gaines coached 47 seasons and posted 828 victories at NCAA Division II Winston-Salem State. He accumulated 18 20-win seasons and won the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association league championship 11 times.

Joining Grant as players elected to the Hall were Dick Barnett (Tennessee A&I), Bevo Francis (Rio Grande), John Ebeling (Florida Southern), Bob Hopkins (Grambling), Lucious Jackson (Pan American College), Phil Jackson (North Dakota), Earl Monroe (Winston-Salem State), Willis Reed (Grambling), John Rinka (Kenyon) and Jerry Sloan (Evansville).

Going into the Hall with Gaines as coaches will be Arad McCutchan (Evansville) and John McClendon (North Carolina College, Hampton, Tennessee A&I, Kentucky State and Cleveland State).

Dr. James Naismith was inducted into the inaugural class as a contributor.

Fans may purchase tickets/tables to the Hall of Fame ceremony at www.HoFClassic.com, or by calling (812) 421-2212.

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