2020 Donna LJ Murphy Award Winner

The Sixth Annual  Donna Murphy Award will be presented to Maddie Scherr of Ryle High School during the 2020 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony.  A new date for the rescheduled event is expected to be announced within the next week.  The event was previously scheduled for April 5th at the Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington, KY but has been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Nominations were submitted from across the state for this prestigious award which honors a standout female senior basketball player who exemplifies the meaning of being a great student athlete.  “As always, all of the nominees this year were very admirable and it was a very difficult decision but Maddie is a stand out player and person on and off the court and she definitely deserves to be recognized,” said Donna Murphy.

Maddie Scherr, a senior at Ryle High School, has played varsity basketball for six years, is a part of the 2,000+ point club at Ryle and holds a 3.8 GPA.  She is a Young Life participant and has acted as a Young Life Junior Leader and Mentor.  She has been actively involved in coordinating Ryle’s girls basketball camps for kids and has volunteered as a leader at local youth soccer camps.  Last year Maddie set up, coordinated and ran a small group bible study for high school girls.

Scherr was selected as the Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year the past two seasons and was ranked as the nation’s No. 17 recruit in the Class of 2020 by Prospects Nation.  Maddie was the MVP of the 2019 state tournament and was selected for the 2020 McDonald’s All-American team.  She will be attending the University of Oregon in the fall on a basketball scholarship.

When asked what basketball has taught her over the years and how she would apply it to her life in the future, Maddie’s response was:

“Basketball has taught me the importance of hard work. I have spent many extra hours in a gym working hard to develop better skills and this work has directly impacted my ability on the court. I’ve heard it said that ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’.  I have found that statement to be very true. For the rest of my life as I try to help others, whether its with basketball or life, I will try to instill in them a good understanding of this. I have also learned the importance of working together as a team. Last year our team won the state tournament but it was a complete team effort. Without everyone playing their roles well and working well together we would not have won the championship. Any opportunity I could find to set up others to score or help the team I would try to find. Hopefully as I help others in the future I can help them learn the importance of the team also.”

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 the 2020 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony.   For questions please email or call 270-999-4887.

The 9th 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.  To learn more about KLEF’s mission and our programs and services please visit