Donna LJ Murphy played basketball at Newport High School from 1972-76 and went on to become an All-American and graduate of Morehead State University, and their first female student-athlete to have her jersey retired. She is a member of eleven Hall of Fames including the Kentucky Basketball Hall of Fame and recipient of numerous honors. She was awarded the Ted Sandford Award for being named the MVP of the 1975 Kentucky state tournament after she scored 67 points and grabbed 50 rebounds. During her senior year she was named Kentucky’s first Miss Basketball in 1976, averaging 35 points and 20 rebounds. She was also the State AA high jump champion in 1974 and All-region in volleyball while at Newport High School.
Murphy was the first forward drafted in the Women’s Professional Basketball League in 1980 and went on to play for the St. Louis Streak. After her playing days and completing her graduate degree, she transitioned from player to coach. Her college coaching stints included the University of Kentucky, University of Florida, University of Memphis, Morehead State University, University of Cincinnati and she started the first women’s basketball program at Asbury University. She also coached at Lexington Christian Academy, Bryan Station High School, Lexington Traditional Magnet School and coached summer AAU and Exposure basketball.
Murphy embodied the “student-athlete” role by graduating fifth in her class with honors from Newport High School, while excelling in three varsity sports. As a student-athlete at Morehead State University she graduated magna cum laude twice, with a BA in Communications/ Journalism with Teacher Certification, and a MHE in Counseling.
The DONNA LJ MURPHY Award will presented to a Kentucky female high school senior basketball student-athlete, who exemplifies the essence of “student-athlete”.
Please share this information with a coach, athletic director or principal if you know a deserving high school senior female basketball player that meets the following criteria:
- Proven academic credentials and college bound
- Possesses outstanding athletic ability
- Has character traits of integrity, commitment, strong work ethic and positive attitude
- Shows respect for self and others
- Has great leadership skills
- Proven ability to overcome adversity
- Is a class act on and off the court
Nominations will be accepted from coaches, athletic directors and principals. The online nomination form will be posted here on February 2nd. Deadline for nominations to be submitted will be February 20th at 9 AM (EST).