KHSBHF: A special weekend for state’s best

Former Harlan High School standout and 2019 Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Charles Thomas socializes Saturday at the State Theater.

For those who have a passion for high school basketball in the Bluegrass State, Elizabethtown was the place to be this weekend as the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame hosted a couple of special events.

Beginning Friday evening with “A Night with Champions,” a dinner at the Pritchard Community Center welcoming some of the state’s most iconic coaches and players, and leading up to the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony for the 2019 class Saturday at the State Theatre, it was a humbling experience for those who have loved the sport for many, many years.

“Kentucky high school basketball is more than just a game,” Hall of Fame board member Kenny Davis said Saturday to the large dinner crowd. “It’s a special thing full of tradition and is honored and loved by many.”

Davis spoke about how rich the state’s high school basketball history is, what this weekend means to so many people and how great it is to have the Hall of Fame building where anyone can go see the memobrillia and soak it all in.

Relating to the Hall of Fame building, Davis couldn’t thank everyone enough — the former coaches and players, local sponsors and so many others — for their genorosity and support with helping fund the special landmark and keeping it operational day-by-day.

“This event raises money to keep the lights on. We have a special place at the Hall of Fame,” Davis said. “This event is historical and magical - and that’s because of all the special people in this room tonight.”

The Hall of Fame brought in a special keynote speaker for Friday’s event — Dwane Casey, a former standout player at both Union County High School and the University of Kentucky who now coaches the NBA’s Detroit Pistons.

Casey, a Morganfield, Ky. native who has put together a successful coaching career and won the 2018 NBA Coach of the Year award, shared a heartfelt message with the crowd, involving both basketball and life in general.

Casey delivered his top fundamentals — character, discipline, attitude and passion — and his ‘Game of LIFE,’ which stands for love, influence, faith and evaluation and said that those things should be followed daily in any and every circumstance.

“I see so many faces in here, people that mean so much to me,” Casey said. “I want to thank everyone here and congratulate everyone here. You all have touched so many lives. This is about the Hall of Famers.”

Following Friday’s get-together, the Hall of Fame held its annual induction celebration for this year’s class — which includes 12 legendary individuals — Saturday afternoon.

Following a red carpet introduction and a snack-and-mingle session, the inductees made their way from the gallery into the theatre to formally be inducted and cap a magical weekend.

The Hall of Fame class included: Steve Miller (player, Henry Clay), Scott Draud (player, Highlands), Charles Hurt (player, Shelby County), Sammy Moore (player, Louisville Central), Robin Harmon (player, Sheldon Clark), Irene Moore Strong (player, Breathitt County), Curtis Turley (coach, Henderson County), Nell Fookes (coach, Boone County), William Falls (coach, Hopkinsville), Charles Thomas (player, Harlan), Rick Jones (player, Scott County) and Doug Schloemer (player, Covington Holmes).

Tyler Mansfield can be reached at 270-505-1754 or tmansfield@thenewsenterprise.com.

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