The Eighth Annual Donna L.J. Murphy Award will be presented to Jaya McClure of Christian Academy of Louisville during the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation’s 2022 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony, being held in person on March 20th at the Lexington Griffin Gate Marriott Resort.
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. “Each year I am blown away by the credentials and accomplishments of the ladies who are nominated and the decision is always very difficult. This year all of the nominees were very admirable but Jaya’s essay really resonated with me and demonstrates that she is a stand out person on and off the court and she definitely deserves to be recognized,” said Donna Murphy.
Jaya McClure, a senior at Christian Academy of Louisville enrolled in the school of Biomedical Science, has played varsity basketball for six years, is a part of the 2,000+ point club at CAL and holds a 3.9 GPA. Jaya’s high school career to this point consists of 2,169 total points, 433 assists, 649 rebounds, 296 steals and she averages 16 points per game. Jaya is actively involved in many roles in her extracurricular activities including initiating the Student Diversity Leadership Council at CAL as a freshman and continuing to serve on the committee throughout her time at CAL. She also participated in a Global Missions Health Conference as a freshman, is an athletic intern as a senior and was selected to the Louisville Girls Leadership Program in 2019/20.
Jaya has received several awards/recognitions during her basketball career along with receiving nine D-1 collegiate offers. She is a 2022 McDonald’s All-American Games Nominee, she has lead CAL to three 2A – State Championship Titles (2019, 2020, 2022), she has been named to the Kentucky 2A All-Tournament Team in 2019, 2020 and 2022 and was the Kentucky 2A MVP in 2022. She has participated in many national basketball camps and has committed to serving the youth in her community by volunteering as a middle school trainer, teaching fundamentals and skills that she has learned at these camps to middle school girls. She has committed to play for Ohio University in the 2022-2023 basketball season and has been accepted into the Russ College of Engineering & Technology.
When asked what basketball has taught her over the years and how she would apply it to her life in the future, Jaya’s response was: “I love the game. I love the poetic flow, I love the feeling it brings; but most importantly, I love the way it’s shaped my life. I’ve given my all to this game; in return, it’s blessed me in so many ways. This game has transformed my perception of life in a way deeper way than words could ever explain. This game has taught me that I’m a leader, who can get anything done with the right mindset. I want to instill confidence into young kids, whether that’s in basketball or life. I will be a voice for our 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 attend or view the 2022 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony. To learn more about the event visit http://www.mrandmisskybasketball.com. For questions please email JenniferHunt@kylionseye.org or call 270-999-4887.
The 11th 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 http://www.kylionseye.org.