The second Annual Donna Murphy Award was presented to Emma Young of East Jessamine High School during the 2016 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony on March 15th 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. Nineteen 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.
Emma Young, a senior at East Jessamine High School, has played varsity basketball for four years and has signed to play for Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Young averages 25 points and 11 rebounds per game with 3.4 assists and 2.6 steals per game. She broke the school record for points scored in a single game scoring 40 points against Collins in January. According to her coach she is on track to break the all-time scoring record for her school.
Emma was recently named a candidate for 2016 Miss Kentucky Basketball and the 2016 Regional Player of the Year for Region 12. Along with excelling on the court, Young has held a part time job since her sophomore year and is a DARE Leader and helps to support the organization All God’s Children in Nicholasville. She currently has a 3.46 GPA and hopes to graduate with honors as the first person in her biological family to graduate high school.
“The game of basketball is fun and has taught me so much more than I could ever imagine”, said Young regarding her experience at East Jessamine High School. “I have become a leader, learned responsibility and realized that hard work and dedication pay off. These life skills will prepare me for the future. I hope to be one day become a nurse or social worker so that I can help people. In both of these professions, I will need to work hard to build relationships and have the dedication to do so. Through playing basketball I have worked my way to college and learned skills that will last a lifetime.”
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.
The 5th 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.