Kentucky Gets A High School Hoops Hall of Fame

Finally, after all these years, Kentucky is about to get something that Indiana has had for many moons and something that I have yearned for.

Thanks to Rick Whobrey and some other people from the Elizabethtown area who love high school basketball, our state is getting the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame.

It will be in Elizabethtown and the Centennial induction celebration will be July 14 at 8 p.m. at the State Theatre in E-town.

The Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches, headed by Ken Trivette, will be in charge of the Hall of Fame.

You’re right if you think that Ken is the son of a man who belongs in the Hall of Fame and will be some day, the legendary John Bill Trivette of Pikeville High fame.

Like Indiana, Kentucky’s Hall of Fame will be in a small city.

Indiana’s is in New Castle, which at one time had the biggest high school gym in the world and is named for a Kentuckian! Yes, Kentuckian Langan Hay, who played football for Irvine High and UK before going to Indiana to coach and teach. He coached and was the director of athletics at New Castle.

The initial class of inductees is a star-studded one.

The question that everyone connected with halls of fame in Kentucky is: will King Kelly Coleman of Wayland High basketball glory show up?

He refused to show up for induction into the KHSAA Hall of Fame because he wasn’t in the initial class. Later he failed to show for induction into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of fame.

Here are the men and women selected for induction:
√ Two members of UK’s Fabulous Five, Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones of Harlan High and the late Ralph Beard of Louisville Male High.

They led their teams to state championships, two NCAA national championships and the USA to its biggest achievement of all, the Olympic Games championship.

The Olympics were the greatest because, as Ralph once told me, “It was for our country.”

√ UofL’s greatest two basketball players, Wes Unseld of Seneca High and Darrell Griffith of Male High, both of whom carried their teams to Sweet Sixteen titles.

√ The father-daughter team of Clem “The Gem” Haskins and Clemette Haskins.
Clem starred for Campbellsville Durham High, Taylor County and Western Kentucky University. Clemette also was a WKU standout after starring for Warren Central High.

√ Geri Grigsby who set scoring records (4,385 total points) for McDowell High.

√ Cliff Hagan, the Owensboro Senior High and UK immortal who led the Red Devils to the state title and UK to a national crown.

√ Jim McDaniels a star at Allen County High and for WKU.

√ Rex Chapman, an all-time great at Owensboro’s Apollo High.

√ Roy Bowling coached Laurel County’s girls to four state titles.

√ Clay County’s Richie Farmer played in five consecutive State Tournaments. He led the Tigers to one title and one runnerup.

√ Clay County coach Bobby Keith, who won a state title and was runnerup for two more crowns

√ Ralph Carlisle, who guided Lexington Lafayette High to three state titles after starring for Kavanaugh High in Lawrenceburg and at UK.

√ Last but certainly not least is the late S.T. Roach, the gentlemanly coach at Lexington Dunbar.

Most of his work was done in the segregated era.

S.T. would be the first to tell you that Louisville Central’s late Bill Kean should also be included in the first class of inductees.

He coached not only state but national championships in both football and basketball. His grandson is Allan Houston, a Ballard High, University of Tennessee and NBA star.

  • Bill Taylor


    without question King Kelly Coleman should be among the very FIRST inductees into a hall of fame for Kentucky High schools……..a person that coached against him, John Bill Trivette told me Kelly Coleman was the second best rebounders he ever saw play in high school…..he told me that after working with me one on one for a week, when i asked him the best players he coached or coached against…….that best player he ever coached he said was ME, and I was also that best rebounder, ONLY because i could jump so much higher than Kelly could and was quicker than Kelly…..4 records i set at Pikeville high school in 1968/9 still stand today……and guess what? i age 61 I am NOT in the Pikeville hall of fame, even though i set records ,worked in TV and radio sports for decades and have bowled 13 perfect games and competed on a pro bowling tour with hall of famers from the PBA……i write to to make a point, these type things have far too much politics involved and some very deserving people that did NOT play the political games are on the outside looking in……King Kelly Coleman is a honest man and has principles, it takes courage to say NO thank you, as opposed to playing the games of politics.

    Hall of fames should be based on what the person did in the sports arena NOT how well they played politics.

    Thank you for your time,

    Bill Taylor

    an athlete that gave 100% to Pikeville High School and Pikeville College(the team i played for at the college IS recognized in that hall of fame).