2022, News

2022 ‘Wah Wah’ Jones Award Winner

The Ninth Annual Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones Award will be presented to Chase Alderman from Rowan County High School during the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation’s 2022 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony on March 20th at the Lexington Griffin Gate Marriott Resort.

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.” All of the nominees were very deserving and this decision gets more difficult to make each year,” said Wallace “Wah” Jones, Jr.

Chase Alderman, a senior at Rowan County High School, has played baseball, basketball, football and soccer during his high school career, while maintaining a 4.26 GPA. Alderman’s athletic abilities were noticed early, as he lettered in varsity swimming as a 4th grader, and scored points for his team at the Regional swim meet. Chase enjoyed competing with his older brother Ty on the swim team, who went on to swim at Transylvania University. This school year Chase was named Mr. Rowan County, a prestigious award which is voted on by teachers and school staff.

For the Vikings on the basketball court this season Chase has been averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. He is also a member of the 1,000 point club at Rowan County.  When asked what is was like coaching Chase, his basketball coach, Shawn Thacker commented, “It is truly amazing and speaks volume of his sports IQ for how many sports he is involved in. He picks everything up the first time I tell him. He is one of the best leaders I’ve had the pleasure of coaching. His teammates don’t play hard out of fear or pressure, they play hard because they don’t want to let Chase down. He is a young many that is as or more enjoyable being around away from the court as he is on the court.”

Chase came in to relief pitch as a freshmen in the semis of the regional tournament and has worked hard to become ranked 2nd and 3rd as a right handed pitcher by two different scouting services in the state of Kentucky for the class of 2022. After receiving several Division 1 baseball scholarship offers, Alderman chose to play at Eastern Kentucky University starting the 2022-2023 season.
Alderman played soccer throughout his high school career and during the fall 2021 season he made 24 goals and had 12 assists. His soccer coach Max Hammonds commented that, “Chase is an incredible young man, the great thing about having a player like Chase, is not only is he willing to play any position that we need him to play that night, but he is also the best at that spot. When your best player is also your hardest working player it makes a coaches’ job much easier.”

His senior season, Chase played football for Rowan County and his coach Kelly Ford said, “My only wish was that Chase would have decided to come out to football as a freshmen, I can’t imagine where he would be as a Senior with 4 years under his belt. Chase is a player the young kids gravitate towards, he is what every locker room needs.”

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 or view the 2022 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony. To learn more about the event visit 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 www.kylionseye.org.