I was recently asked to help put together a list of the top boys and girls basketball players of all time in the Second Region. The list would be a nomination list for the region for the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. Each of the other regions will compile a list of their best players.
After voting by the seven person committee (myself included), the final list consisted of: 1. Travis Ford, Madisonville-North Hopkins; 2. Harry Todd, Earlington; 3. William “Bird” Averitt, Hopkinsville; 4. Dwight Smith, Princeton Dotson; 5. Fred Cowan, Union County; 6. Greg Buckner, University Heights; 7. Curtis Parker, Christian County; 8. Greg Smith, Caldwell County/Princeton Dotson; 9. Ty Rogers, Lyon County; 10. Glen Green, Henderson County.
My list had nine of the ten. The only difference was at #10 where I had Livingston Central's Don Ringstaff.
Only Travis Ford was listed on all seven ballots, something I found hard to believe. I ranked three players ahead of him -- Harry Todd, "Bird" Averitt, and Ty Rogers.
In the legends voting (pre-1950), Frank Ramsey of Madisonville was unanimous, with a tie for second between Carson Jones of Nebo and Carlisle Towery of Shady Grove. I voted for Ramsey and Kuttawa's Joe Fulks.
It's hard to argue against any of those selected.
For the ladies, there was a little more difference from the nomination list to my list.
The top girls' players in the region as nominated were: 1. Rachel Byars, Union County; 2. Arnika Brown, Christian County; 3. Tonya Wells, Madisonville-North Hopkins; 4. Terica Hathaway, Providence; 5. Brandi Ashby, Webster County; 6. Stephanie Minor, West Hopkins; 7. Kelly Pendleton, Webster County; 8. Abbey Benton, Caldwell County; 9. Lisa Hayden, Henderson County; 10 tie. Nicole Hay, Henderson County; 10. tie Sharon Ottens, Webster County.
My list had only six of the above, not counting the tie at #10.
We agreed on Byars, Brown, Wells, Hathaway, Ashby, and Hayden. Those I voted for who didn't make the final cut were Livingston Central's Stacey Calhoun, Trigg County's Karen Johnson, Providence's Diane Oakley, and Crittenden County's Shannon Croft (now Hodge).
Oakley scored 45 points against Trigg County in a game in the late 1970s. That record was broken by another Providence player, Hathaway, who scored 55 points against Trigg in a 1997 game.
The lists will be submitted to the KABC who, in turn, will have a committee to decide which people statewide will be inducted into their hall of fame.