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Half-million reasons to believe in basketball hall of fame

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Editorial: March 27, 2014

ISSUE: Facility update
OUR VIEW: Another encouraging fundraising report

Advocates of the planned Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame mention several reasons to support the project.

It begins with the state’s rich basketball traditions and the life lessons learned on the court. The ability to see this idea of the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches go from concept to reality attracts some. The hall of fame’s tourism potential and the value of locating this facility downtown also has won over many local residents.

Recently, professional fundraisers working on the project announced more than a half-million reasons to believe.

That’s a half-million dollars committed to the project. Actually, during an update that coincided with the announcement of its next group of 16 honorees, the hall of fame announced nearly $550,000 has been committed.

It comes in the form of modest individual contributions and significant corporate gifts from the Swope Family of Dealerships and The Cecilian Bank, among others.

This effort, directed by former basketball coach Mike Pollio and his Louisville-based company MPE, gained a critical boost last year in the form of a $200,000 commitment from the Elizabethtown Tourism and Visitors Bureau. It also has benefited from the outset from support from Elizabethtown city government, which approved an agreement in August that will provide a downtown site to temporarily house the fledgling organization and an adjacent property to link it with a modern structure.

While Elizabethtown will be home to the hall, this project has statewide appeal. Contributions have come from Owensboro, Louisville and Lexington.

As fans of the sport know, basketball is a game of momentum. The ball certainly is bouncing the right way for the hall of fame these days.

Although this effort has not yet reached its halftime, supporters expect the contribution totals to expand steadily over the coming months. Expect more good news by the time of the third annual induction ceremony July 12 at the Historic State Theater.

While the facility’s 2018 opening seems a long way off, it continues to move from concept toward reality.

Congratulations to all who are putting forth their labor and effort to develop this dream.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.