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On my way back from Elizabethtown and Mike Casey’s induction into the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday night, I got to thinking: If Shelby County had a high school basketball Hall of Fame, who would be in it?
Of course the first member would be Casey, who most regard as the best hoop player this county has ever produced. And rightfully so, he was the first player from Shelby County to win the coveted “Mr. Basketball” honor, he led the Rockets to the 1966 state title, and he was a standout at the University of Kentucky.
But who else would be in there with him? If you were going to have a 5-person, or 10-person, initial class, who would you start with?
Terry Davis? Probably the natural second choice, because he was the county’s second “Mr. Basketball” in 1968 after averaging a whopping 35 points per game for the Rockets before heading to Western Kentucky University.
A.J. Slaughter? By all accounts he should’ve been Shelby County’s third “Mr. Basketball” in 2006 (Walt Allen?!). After finishing up his career as a Rocket he was a standout at Western Kentucky University (he’s 12th on the program’s all-time scoring list). He has spent the past three seasons playing professionally overseas, and he recently completed a stint with the Orlando Magic’s NBA Pro Summer League team.
Charles Hurt? Norris Beckley? The dynamic duo both averaged double-doubles (Hurt 18.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game and Beckley 16.3 ppg and 10.4 rpg) for the 1978 state-championship-winning team (Hurt hit the overtime-forcing shot in the title game, which the Rockets won in the extra session). Both were Kentucky All-Stars (Beckley in ’78, Hurt in ’79) and had solid college careers (Beckley at Morehead State and Hurt at UK).
Kim Cunningham? She is Shelby County’s all-time leading scorer, boy or girl, with 2,761 points.
Long-time Shelbyville Coach Evan Settle? Former Shelbyville standout Herbie Kays? Former Shelby County Coach Bill Harrell? Former Shelby County standout Bill Busey, who was also Casey’s teammate at UK? Shelby County girls’ standout Cindy Baker? Former Shelby County Coach Tom Creamer? Former Christian Academy of Louisville star Antonita Slaughter, who helped the University of Louisville women’s team reach the national championship game this past season? Recent Trinity graduate Darryl Hicks Jr.?
Those are some of the names I came up with. Who would you put in the Shelby County High School Basketball Hall of Fame? I want to know, so e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tweet me at @joshcook_senews, call me or leave me a message at 633-2526 ext. 108.
If I get enough responses, I’ll tally the votes and publish the results.