The first members of the inaugural class of the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame will be inducted this weekend in Elizabethtown and several familiar names with ties to this part of the state are included.
Fomer Harlan standout “Wah Wah” Jones and Clay County sharp shooter Richie Farmer are among the players included in this first class along with coaches Roy Bowling of Laurel County and Bobby Keith of Clay County. Other famous names on the list include Wes Unseld of Seneca and Rex Chapman of Apollo.
The new Hall of Fame was established by the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches to honor men’s and women’s players and coaches who have been the “essence of the game” for the nearly 100-year history of the sport. The plan is to select twelve players and four coaches annually between 2012 and 2018 to make up the inaugural class of inductees. 2018 also marks the centennial celebration of the KHSAA and high school basketball in Kentucky.
Here’s the complete list of this year’s inductees:
Ralph Beard – Male
Roy Bowling – Laurel County (coach)
Ralph Carlisle – Lafayette (coach)
Rex Chapman – Apollo
“King” Kelly Coleman – Wayland
Richie Farmer – Clay County
Darrell Griffith – Male
Geri Grigsby – McDowell
Clem Haskins – Durham/Taylor County
Clemette Haskins – Warren Central
Cliff Hagan – Owensboro
Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones – Harlan
Bobby Keith – Clay County (coach)
Jim McDaniels – Allen County
S. T. Roach – Dunbar (coach)
Wes Unseld – Seneca
The induction ceremony will be held at the historic State Theater in Elizabethtown on July 14 at 8 p.m. following a reception at 6 p.m.
The KHSBHF is governed by an independent board and chaired by Hal Smith, president emeritus of Pikeville College and currently the president of the Kentucky Governor’s Scholar Program Foundation. The board includes two hall of fame coaches, four award winning sports journalists, and two retired school administrators.
The Hall is dedicated to promoting and educating the public about the culture, tradition and rich heritage of Kentucky high school basketball. It will honor and provide a fitting tribute to former players and coaches while preserving historical information and memorabilia associated with the game.