A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

More Than a Game: New book explores impact of civil rights movement through lens of forgotten school

Basketball is a crucial aspect of the Kentucky identity, and while those outside the state primarily witness the competition as between opposing college or professional teams, high school basketball has formed a core component of the sport’s presence since the establishment of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Boys Basketball Championship in 1918. In 1960, that championship would...

Top-ranked Bowling Green leads wire-to-wire, tops Cooper to capture 100th KHSAA Boys’ Championship

By Mike Fields Kentucky High School Athletics Association D.G. Sherrill never got to attend the Sweet 16 when he was a kid growing up in Caldwell County in far western Kentucky. “My daddy believed when my basketball season was over, it was time for me to go to work,” he said. “So I was in a welding shop when everybody else was coming to watch basketball.” Sherrill’s first trip to watch the...

Paul Laurence Dunbar high-scoring senior Hollingsworth named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball

Taveion Hollingsworth, a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, has been named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball for the 2016-17 season. Taveion Hollingsworth He received the award at a March 14 banquet at the Lexington Center prior to the opening of this week’s KHSAA Boys’ State Tournament at Rupp Arena. Last year, Taveion led Dunbar to its first Sweet Sixteen championship. As a senior,...

State Tournament Memories: Farmer recalls highlights of his record-setting Sweet 16 career

By Mike Fields Special to KyForward Richie Farmer clearly recalls how his record-setting Sweet Sixteen career began in Rupp Arena 33 years ago this week. Clay County had a big lead on Owensboro in their first-round game when Farmer, an eighth-grader, took the floor with 1:08 remaining. Then, with the clock ticking away, “I got the ball in the middle of the floor against their press, coming down on...

High-scoring Mercer County girls cruise past Franklin County to notch KHSAA Tournament championship

By Mike Fields KHSAA HIGHLAND HEIGHTS – When Chris Souder took over as Mercer County girls’ basketball coach 18 years ago, he allowed himself to imagine the Titans winning a state title someday. “It’s always a dream, it’s always a goal,” he said. “But two years ago we talked about it actually being a realistic goal. If everybody would stay the course, buy into the way we wanted to play,...

Billy Reed: This old Blue Devil feels good about the present and future of high school basketball

“I don’t have plans and schemes And I don’t have hopes and dreams I don’t have anything If I don’t have you.” — The Skyliners, 1958 Last Tuesday morning at the Hyatt-Regency in Lexington, this graduate of Henry Clay High, class of 1961, emceed a press conference where the new inductees to the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame, several of them his contemporaries, were...

Pairings set for Kentucky High School Athletic Association boys’, girls’ state basketball tournaments

By Terry Boehmker Special to KyForward A draw conducted Thursday set the bracket for the first girls’ high school basketball state tournament to be held in Northern Kentucky as well as for the boys’ event, scheduled for Rupp Arena in Lexington. The St. Elizabeth Healthcare/KHSAA Girls’ Sweet 16 state tournament will be played March 9-13 at BB&T Arena on the campus of Northern Kentucky...

The winning play Friday was Julius Randle’s legacy-maker as a Wildcat in Louisville win

Kentucky’s Julius Randle was an integral part of the winning play in the Wildcats’ 74-69 win over Louisville in the Sweet 16 on Friday. (File photo by James Pennington)   INDIANAPOLIS — With an indefinite number of games left in his Kentucky career—no more than three at this point, surely—it’s still unclear how Julius Randle will be remembered as a Wildcat. He’s been...

The winning play Friday was Julius Randle's legacy-maker as a Wildcat in Louisville win

Kentucky’s Julius Randle was an integral part of the winning play in the Wildcats’ 74-69 win over Louisville in the Sweet 16 on Friday. (File photo by James Pennington)   INDIANAPOLIS — With an indefinite number of games left in his Kentucky career—no more than three at this point, surely—it’s still unclear how Julius Randle will be remembered as a Wildcat. He’s been...

Kentucky’s defensive transition struggles
will be challenged Friday vs. Cardinals

INDIANAPOLIS — Much noise has been made of Kentucky’s weak transition defense leading up to Friday’s Sweet 16 match-up against Louisville, a running-and-gunning team that is 35th in all of Division I (and second to Michigan State among teams in the Sweet 16) with 26.9 of its total field goals attempted in the first 10 seconds of possessions. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   It’s...

Kentucky's defensive transition struggles will be challenged Friday vs. Cardinals

INDIANAPOLIS — Much noise has been made of Kentucky’s weak transition defense leading up to Friday’s Sweet 16 match-up against Louisville, a running-and-gunning team that is 35th in all of Division I (and second to Michigan State among teams in the Sweet 16) with 26.9 of its total field goals attempted in the first 10 seconds of possessions. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   It’s...

Only Kentuckians understand UK-UofL,
and those playing Friday will put it aside

Jarrod Polson is one of a handful of Kentuckians who could check in to Friday’s Sweet 16 game between Kentucky and Louisville. (Photo by James Pennington)   INDIANAPOLIS — For all the emotions born into Kentucky and Louisville fans any time the two teams play in any sport—especially men’s basketball—it’s not something aliens to the Commonwealth fully grasp. And as far as who will...

Only Kentuckians understand UK-UofL, and those playing Friday will put it aside

Jarrod Polson is one of a handful of Kentuckians who could check in to Friday’s Sweet 16 game between Kentucky and Louisville. (Photo by James Pennington)   INDIANAPOLIS — For all the emotions born into Kentucky and Louisville fans any time the two teams play in any sport—especially men’s basketball—it’s not something aliens to the Commonwealth fully grasp. And as far as who will...

How has Kentucky fared against high-volume shooters like Louisville’s Russ Smith?

One of few questions surrounding Kentucky’s merits in the suffocating buildup to this season was who would be The Lockdown Defender as the Wildcats chased an undefeated season. The undefeated season never panned out, and among other things, neither did a single person as the unquestioned man on the ball in the lineage on DeAndre Liggins and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   On...

How has Kentucky fared against high-volume shooters like Louisville's Russ Smith?

One of few questions surrounding Kentucky’s merits in the suffocating buildup to this season was who would be The Lockdown Defender as the Wildcats chased an undefeated season. The undefeated season never panned out, and among other things, neither did a single person as the unquestioned man on the ball in the lineage on DeAndre Liggins and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   On...

Kentucky-Louisville Rewind: Randle’s cramps forced Andrew Harrison to thrive Dec. 28

ST. LOUIS — As Kentucky begins to prepare for a rematch against Louisville, this one in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on Friday in Indianapolis, the Cardinals’ lack of size and disadvantage in the paint will be given much bandwidth, many column inches and too many decibels.   That’s not to say it’s an invalid sticking point in a game that demands microanalysis. Kentucky...

Kentucky-Louisville Rewind: Randle's cramps forced Andrew Harrison to thrive Dec. 28

ST. LOUIS — As Kentucky begins to prepare for a rematch against Louisville, this one in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on Friday in Indianapolis, the Cardinals’ lack of size and disadvantage in the paint will be given much bandwidth, many column inches and too many decibels.   That’s not to say it’s an invalid sticking point in a game that demands microanalysis. Kentucky...