Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kentucky Mr. Basketball 1970s

The 1970s never produced the same type of professional talent as the 1960s but they did include more college success and some very notable names. Here's the list:


1970: Robert Brooks (Madison)

Brooks led his Madison High team to a runner up finish at the 1970 KHSAA Sweet Sixteen, and parlayed that into a Kentucky Mr. Basketball award. He averaged 27.8 points per game as a senior and had a total of 2,200 in high school. Nearly beat power house Male by leading Madison with 32 points in a 69-70 loss.

1971: Jimmy Dan Conner (Anderson County)

Jimmy Dan Conner also led his Anderson County team to the state finals against Male high school, and again Kentucky's Mr. Basketball fell short. Conner was also a fourth team Parade All American and a Scholastic Coach All American. Conner would go on to star at the University of Kentucky where he scored over 1,00 points in his career averaging 11.87 points per game to go along with 4.04 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game. Conner was taken 36th overall in the second round of the 1975 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. However Conner instead chose to play with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA. Conner played 24 games and scored 109 points for a 4.4 points per game average.

1972: Jerry Thruston (Owensboro)

Led Owensboro to its second state title and was thus awarded Mr. Basketball. Played three years at Mercer, scoring 1,099 points in 75 games for a 14.5 points per game average, also averaged 7.8 rebounds per game for his career. Thruston was drafted in the 7th round of the 1977 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.

1973: Wesley Cox (Male)

Wesley Cox averaged 18.5 points and 14 rebounds as a senior at Louisville Male High School. After leading Male to the state title game, he received the Kentucky Mr. Basketball award and was set to attend the University of Louisville. Cox was a four year starter at Louisville and scored 1,578 points in his career a 14 points per game and was good enough for 17th on Louisville's all-time scoring list. Cox was then drafted 18th overall in the 1977 NBA Draft. Cox played two seasons in the NBA aveaging 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds.

1974: Jack Givens (Bryan Station)

Jack "Goose" Givens was named a Parade All-American and Kentucky's Mr. Basketball after leading his Bryan Station team to the quarterfinals of the 1974 KHSAA Sweet Sixteen. Givens went on to star at the University of Kentucky. He would lead the Wildcats to the 1978 NCAA National Championship game where he scored a ridiculous 41 points in a 94-88 win over Duke. Givens was name a second team All-American that year, he also received the Helms foundation player of the year award, was named the SEC Male athlete of the Year and Final Four MOP. Givens was then drafted by the Atlanta Hawks 16th overall in the 1978 NBA Draft. Goose played two NBA seasons averaging 6.7 points 2.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists. Givens is currently the CEO and President of the Orlando Comets AAU basketball program.

1975: Dom Fucci (Tates Creek)

Dom Fucci played baseball and basketball at Tates Creek and was named the 1975 Kentucky Mr. Basketball. Fucci would go on to Auburn where he would also play basketball and baseball. Fucci was an all-american first baseman at Auburn and helped lead them to the 1976 College World Series. Fucci was drafted by the White Sox but never made it to the majors. Fucci is currently the head baseball coach at his Alma mater Tates Creek.

1976: Darrell Griffith (Male)

Darrell Griffith is largely regarded as the greatest Louisville basketball player of all-time. But before that he was a star at Male high school where he received the 1976 Kentucky Mr. Basketball award. Griffith would go on to be the leader of Louisville's Doctors of Dunk teams, and he led Louisville to their first NCAA championship in 1980. He was also named 1980 MOP, first team All-American and Metro Conference Player of the Year. Griffith is UofL's all time leading scorer and has his jersey retired by the university. Griffith was selected second overall by the Utah Jazz in the 1980 NBA Draft. Despite never being name an NBA All-Star Griffith averaged more than 19 points per game each of his first five seasons, scoring 1000 pints in 7 of his 10 seasons. He was also named the NBA Rookie of the year his rookie season. Griffith is currently a resident of Louisville and he runs the Darrell Griffith Foundation.

1977: Jeff Lamp (Ballard)

Jeff Lamp along with teammates Jerry Eaves, Lee Raker and Norman Miller formed one of Kentucky's most talented teams of all time in 1977 en route to a Kentucky state title. Lamp would win Kentucky's Mr. Basketball award that year, he would then go on to attend the University of Virginia with Raker. There Raker and Lamp would nearly win another title in Charlottesville but barely fell short winning the third place game in the 1981 NCAA tournament. Lamp was a two time All-American, four time All-ACC and scored 2,137 points in his career (2nd all time) for the Cavaliers. Lamp had his jersey retired after his last home game at the University of Virginia in 1981. Lamp was drafted 15th overall in the 1981 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. Lamp played 6 season in the NBA for 4 different teams, he played in 291 career games scoring 1,495 points. Lamp is currently a career counselor for the NBAPA and NBA.

1978: Doug Schloemer (Holmes)

Doug Schloemer led his Holmes high school to the state title game in 1978 but fell short against Shelby County, however he did win Kentucky's Mr. Basketball as a consolation. Schloemer went on to play for the University of Cincinnati where he lettered 4 years. Schloemer will be most remembered though for one shot that ended the only NCAA Division I 7 OT game. Schloemer was a reserve forward for Cincinnati as a junior and was only in the game due to the other Bearcat forwards fouling out. But Schloemer got off a 15-footer that found the net with one second remaining in the 7th overtime. Schloemer is currently a lawyer in Kentucky.

1979: Dirk Minniefield (Lafayette)

Dirk Minniefield led his Lafayette high school team to their fifth state championship and their first in 22 years. Minniefield was then named Kentucky Mr. Basketball in 1979 and went on to the University of Kentucky the following year. Minniefield was also named a Parade All-American, Scholastic Coach All-American and a McDonald's All-American. Minniefield would go on to have a very fruitious career at the University of Kentucky being named All SEC three times. Dirk averaged 8.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.25 assists and 1.27 steals for his career. Minniefield was taken 33rd overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1983 NBA Draft. Minniefield would play three seasons in the NBA with a career average of 5.35 points and 3.8 assists per game.


The 1970s included 2 NCAA National Champions, 2 NCAA Final Four MOPs, 1 NBA Rookie of the Year, 7 NBA Draft picks, 1 MLB Draft Pick and the Greatest college dunker of all time according to Cyberdunk.


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