The first Annual Donna Murphy Award was presented to Morgan Rich of Allen County Scottsville High School during the 2015 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony on March 17th in the Bluegrass Ballroom of the Lexington Center in Lexington, KY.
“This was a very difficult decision. Each candidate was exceptional in her own right, but I could only select one.” said Donna Murphy. Thirteen nominations were submitted from across the state to Donna Murphy for this prestigious award for senior female basketball players who exemplify the meaning of being a great student athlete.
Morgan Rich, a senior at Allen County Scottsville High School, has played varsity basketball for six years and has signed to play for the University of Kentucky. Rich was nominated as a McDonald’s All-American and for the Gatorade Player of the Year. She started her senior season as Allen County Scottsville’s all-time leading female scorer. Morgan is active in many school clubs including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America and Pep Club. She is also involved in fellowship outreach thru her church, is a little league coach and works as a career mentor with special needs children. On top of these activities Morgan has maintained a 3.8 GPA. “The greatest lesson I have learned from the game of basketball is how to overcome adversity,” said Morgan after experiencing an eight month recovery from knee surgery due to a basketball injury. “I knew that a lot of extra hard work and dedication would be necessary for me to come back stronger and better than I was before.”
Donna L.J. Murphy played basketball at Newport High School from 1972-76 and went on to become an All-American. During her senior year she was named Kentucky’s first Miss Basketball in 1976, averaging 35 points and 20 rebounds. She was awarded the Ted Sanford Award for being named the MVP of the 1975 Kentucky state tournament after she scored 67 points and grabbed 50 rebounds in two games. More than a great high school basketball player, Murphy was also the State AA high jump champion in 1974 and named All-region in volleyball before graduating fifth in her class. As a highly recruited student-athlete, she chose to attend Morehead State University and graduated magna cum laude twice, with a BA in Communications/ Journalism with Teacher Certification, and a MHE in Counseling.
Murphy remains a highly decorated high school and college student-athlete and a member of eleven Hall of Fames, including the Kentucky Basketball Hall of Fame. Murphy was also the first female student-athlete to have her jersey retired at Morehead State University and Newport High School. She 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 career she transitioned to coaching. She has held coaching positions at the collegiate level and also coached Pro-Am, high school, middle school, AAU and Exposure basketball. Murphy is currently a Professor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College and oversees the Diversity Outreach Services and Intramural Sports. In her free time she is a basketball skills trainer.
All sports fans are welcome to attend. Tickets are on sale now at https://mrandmisskybball.eventbrite.com. General admission tickets are $10 and VIP tickets which include dinner are $50. For questions or to purchase a table (seats 10) call KLEF directly at 502-583-0564 or 800-232-5308.
The 4th annual Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Award Ceremony serves as a fundraiser for the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation, who has announced Mr. Kentucky Basketball since 1954 and Miss Kentucky Basketball since 1976. KLEF’s mission is to prevent and cure blindness. For more information contact KLEF at 502-583-0564 or go to www.kylionseye.org.