2021, News

2021 Donna LJ Murphy Award Winner

The Seventh Annual Donna L.J. Murphy Award will be presented to Sofia Allen of Scott High School during the 2021 Virtual Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony on April 18th.

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.  “The decision keeps getting harder every year.  This year all of the nominees were very admirable but Sofia is a stand out player and person on and off the court and she definitely deserves to be recognized,” said Donna Murphy.

Sofia Allen, a senior at Scott High School, has played varsity basketball for six years, is a part of the 1,000+ point club at Scott and holds a 3.9 GPA. Sofia is actively involved in leadership roles in the National Honor Society and National Hispanic Honor Society at her school, has received several awards/recognition’s during her basketball career as well as playing tennis, volleyball and running track.  She is a member of the student council at Scott High School and has committed herself to her community through several community service projects throughout her high school career.  She will be attending the University of Tampa in the fall on an academic scholarship.

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

“The game of basketball has taught me important life skills such as time management, leadership, communication, good work ethic, discipline, etc. Time management is essential. Basketball takes up a considerable amount of time, so organizing my time is important to me. Basketball has taught me how to prioritize my day. I have a daily schedule that includes practice, games, homework and school time. In the future, this will be an asset in any job or business. Leadership is also important, not only from coaches but from players as well. Leading well will produce great results in a team whether on the court or off, in a business situation or a family situation. I have learned a lot from my coaches on how to lead by being tough, but also showing compassion. Being able to communicate is a great life skill. Understanding the plays or instructions from your coach and teammates is vital. Effective communication is also valuable in life. Being able to talk out differences and still be respectful is a great skill to master. I am learning all of these skills and building upon that foundation so that I may have a successful future.”

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 and Counselor 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 view the 2021 Virtual Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony.   For questions please email JenniferHunt@kylionseye.org or call 270-999-4887.

The 10th 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 www.kylionseye.org.