2019 “Wah Wah” Jones Award Winner

The Sixth Annual Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones Award will be presented to Kilian Ledford from Harlan Independent High School during the 2019 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony on March 5th in the Bluegrass Ballroom of the Lexington Center in Lexington, KY starting at 5 PM.

Eighteen nominees were submitted from across the state to the Jones family for this prestigious award for senior multi-sport athletes who excel equally in their classroom and contribute greatly to their community. “This decision is never easy. All of the nominees were very deserving and I’m very impressed with this group of young men that were nominated,” said Wallace “Wah” Jones, Jr.

Kilian Ledford, a senior at Harlan Independent High School, has played basketball, baseball, football and ran track during his high school career, while maintaining an impressive 4.0 GPA.  Ledford’s remarkable career includes a tremendous come back after breaking his wrist during a football game his junior year.  Kilian continued the football season and started basketball season with a broken left wrist until surgery was scheduled and in that time made his 1,000th point on the basketball court.  “He is a four-sport athlete, a Governor’s Scholar, a MathCounts scholarship winner and a student who possesses outstanding character wherever he is placed,” said Ledford’s track coach Tara Posey.  “There have been times when I’ve pushed him out of his comfort zone and asked him to run a middle distance race when he is a sprinter. Just as I suspected, he rose to the challenge and posted a time, in that unfamiliar distance, that shot him to third in our region.”

Ledford said that through his injury and the training required to come back he has learned to persevere in the face of adversity by keeping a strong mindset and trusting the greater plan of those around him.  He has also found that he wants to pursue a career in the sports medicine field particularly in physical therapy.

Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, Sr. was a two-sport All-American at the University of Kentucky, playing for legendary coaches Adolph Rupp and Bear Bryant, winning two national championships and an NIT. Jones is the only player at the University of Kentucky to have his jerseys retired in both sports. In addition to basketball and football, Jones was a pitcher with the Wildcats and a member of the UK track and field team. He won a gold medal in the 1948 Summer Olympics with Rupp’s “Fabulous Five” and the Phillip 66ers. After college Jones went on to play in the National Basketball Association with the Indianapolis Olympians. During his tremendous athletic career Jones was the image of sportsmanship and is respected throughout the world.

All sports fans are welcome to attend the 2019 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony. Tickets are on sale now at or by calling 800-232-5308. General admission tickets are $15 and VIP tickets which include dinner are $65. For questions or to purchase a table (seats 10) call KLEF directly at 502-583-0564 or 800-232-5308.

The 8th 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