Best of the Bluegrass

Harry Todd – Earlington – Mr. KY Basketball 1958

Harry Todd was named Mr. Basketball in 1958 along with Ralph Richardson.  A 6’8” center, Todd led his team to the 1956 state tournament where he made the all-state tournament team as a sophomore.  As a senior, he averaged 30 points and 20 rebounds.  He received first team all-state honors in 1956, 1957, and 1958.  He was one of the few players in state history to make first team all-state three consecutive years.

Todd had an excellent college career at Western Kentucky University where he led WKU in rebounding for three straight seasons from 1960-62 and finished his career ranked seventh in school history in career rebounds with 924.

Todd then went on to a 30-year career with the U.S. Army, including a stint as command sergeant major at Fort Campbell before his retirement in 1991.

Todd, a Cadiz resident, then served as tourism director in Trigg County before going into the ministry. He’s now a Methodist minister at a church in Livingston County.


Best of the Bluegrass

Ralph Richardson – Russell County – Mr. KY Basketball 1958

Ralph Richardson was a Co-Mr. Kentucky Basketball in 1958. This was the only year that two Mr. KY Basketball recipients were announced, the other was Harry Todd.

Ralph averaged 34 points, 20 rebounds, and 8 blocked shots a game during his senior season in 1958 for Russell County High School. He went on to have an excellent career at Eastern Kentucky University. To list all of his awards and accolades would take several pages.

What you might not know about Ralph is that to this day he is still very involved with the Mr and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony. In ‘normal years’ it is usually about this time, a few weeks before the event, that KY Lions Eye Foundation staff get a visit from Ralph delivering a truckload of silent auction items that he has solicited throughout the year to help support the fundraising efforts of the Foundation. We greatly appreciate everything that Ralph and his wife Jan do for the Foundation – not only during basketball season but throughout the year!

Best of the Bluegrass

Carol Parker – Marshall County – Miss KY Basketball 1984


It was on this date in 1984, when Carol Parker’s 20 points and Rona Poe’s 19 led Marshall County past Belfry 55-53 in the Girls’ Sweet 16 finals at EKU. Howard Beth’s Marshals finished 34-0, the first unbeaten state champ since Laurel County went 36-0 in 1979.  Parker scored a total of 94 points during the Swett 16 tournament and was award the tournament MVP.   She scored 1,564 points during her career at MCHS. Parker went on to play at Paducah Community College, where she continued her success, making the KJCAA All-Conference Team in 1985, and the Great Rivers Athletic Conference All- Conference Team in 1986. She was the PCC Most Valuable Player in 1986.






Best of the Bluegrass

JR VanHoose – Paintsville – Mr. KY Basketball 1998


It was on this date in 1997, when Jonathan “JR” VanHoose had a game which included 15 blocks against Sheldon Clark High School, as a junior playing for Paintsville.  VanHoose is one of only a few players who have participated in four consecutive boys’ state tournaments.  Following the championship in 1996, his Paintsville team lost in the 1997 semifinals and the following year in the finals.  VanHoose was named Mr. Kentucky Basketball in 1998.
JR went on to have a great career at Marshall and is now a a teacher and an assistant coach at Johnson Central High School.  He has also become an accomplished writer, being published in several statewide publications.






Best of the Bluegrass

Quentin Snider – Ballard – Mr. KY Basketball 2014



It was 6 years ago this week when Mr. Kentucky Basketball 2014, Quentin Snider passed Allan Houston as Ballard High School’s all-time scorer in a game against Eastern High School.  He needed 27 points coming into the game, he ended the game with 30.  Snider, known for his 3 point abilities, made 337 three point shots in his high high school career and had an impressive 633 assists.  Snider went on to have a great career at the University of Louisville.

Best of the Bluegrass

Connie Goins – Western Hills – 1982 Miss KY Basketball


Happy Birthday to Miss KY Basketball 1982 Connie Goins!  Connie is listed in the KHSAA Basketball Record Book 4 times for her amazing free throw abilities and for scoring 2,928 points during her career at Western Hills High School.  Goins went on to play for Duke where she was a four-time All-ACC Honor Roll student-athlete and finished her career ranked second in school history in both points and assists, and eighth in rebounds.

She was named the team’s captain for the 1985-86 year, when she guided the Blue Devils to their first national ranking in school history. Duke appeared at No. 20 in the Associated Press poll Jan. 12, 1986.  She was inducted in 2010 into the sixth annual class of ACC Women’s Basketball Legends.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in computer science.  She returned home to Kentucky and has spent her professional career in Kentucky state government.






Best of the Bluegrass

Geri Grigsby – McDowel – 1977 Miss KY Basketball


One of the first female high school superstars in the modern era of Kentucky High School Basketball, high-scoring Geri Grigsby of the “McDowell High “Dare-Devils” amassed a three-season total of 4,385 points on her way to earning 3 First Team “All-State” honors.  Her 49.8 senior season scoring average is still a state and national record as is her 81 points in a single game during her junior season.  She was named Kentucky’s Miss Basketball in 1977, “Kentucky Sportswoman of the Year” in 1978 and has since been inducted in the National High School Hall of Fame, the Dawahares KHSAA Hall of Fame and the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame.






Best of the Bluegrass

Lisa Collins – Laurel County – 1980 Miss KY Basketball

It was 40 years ago when Lisa Collins from Laurel County was named 1980 Miss Kentucky Basketball.  Prior to that, Lisa’s team had won three consecutive KHSAA State Championships in 1977, 1978 & 1979.  She scored 140 Sweet Sixteen career points. Lisa was named a three time All-Stater and was a member of the KHSAA All-Tournament Team in 1979.  She helped create a legacy at Laurel County, which holds the record for the most KHSAA State Tournament Championships with five, and the most consecutive wins with 73.  Laurel County won its last 21 games in 1977-78, went 36-0 in 1978-79, then won its
first 16 games in 1979-80.

Collins went on to become a four-year star at the University of Kentucky from 1980-1984.  She played in 115 career games scoring 952 points.




Best of the Bluegrass

Wes Unseld – Seneca – 1964 Mr. KY Basketball

You can find the name Westley Unseld in the KHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament Record Book 13 times for his two state championships in 1963 & 1964 with Seneca High School.  It has been said by some that Unseld is the best basketball player the state of Kentucky has ever produced.  Unseld went to the University of Louisville where he led the conference in rebounding his three years playing as a lettered player.  He was drafted in the first round, second pick by the Baltimore Bullets in thr 1968 NBA draft.  As a rookie, Unseld helped lead the Bullets to a 57–25 record and a division title.  Unseld averaged 18.2 rebounds per game that year, and became the second player ever to win the Rookie of the Year Award and the Most Valuable Player Award in the same year (the first to do this was fellow Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain).

Unseld was one of the best defensive players of his era, and in 1975, he led the NBA in rebounding. The following season, he led the NBA in field goal percentage with a .561 percentage.

Unseld took the Bullets franchise to four NBA Finals, and won the championship in 1978 over the Seattle SuperSonics, in which he was named the Finals MVP. He ended his playing career following the 1980–1981 season, and his #41 jersey was retired by the Bullets shortly thereafter.



Best of the Bluegrass

Sydney Moss – Boone County – 2012 Miss KY Basketball

Did you happen to watch the College Football Championship game last night?  Even if you didn’t you have probably heard the name Thaddeus Moss today, because of his performance for LSU during the national title game against Clemson.  But did you know that his big sister, Sydney, had many all-star performances on the basketball court when in high school at Boone County or at the University of Florida and Thomas Moore University.   Sydney was named Miss Kentucky Basketball 2012 during the first Mr and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony event.

Moss, a two-time WBCA Player of the Year and NCAA DIII All-American was recently named as an Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach for St. Thomas University in Florida.

Moss played her college basketball career at the University of Florida and Thomas More University (KY.), and is one of the most accomplished players in Saints history. As a freshman at UF, Moss was named to the 2013 All-Southeastern Conference Freshman Team and to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament All-Tournament Team. Moss started in 24-of-37 games, led the Gators in assists (143), finishing second in scoring (11.8 points-per-game), rebounds (6.8 rebounds-per-game) and steals (52).

Moss transferred to Thomas More University for her sophomore and junior campaigns, leading the Saints to a NCAA DIII National Championship in 2014-15. In her sophomore season, Moss won all three Division III National Player of the Year awards: WBCA Player of the Year, Player of the Year and the Women’s DIII News Player of the Year, as well as, being named a First-Team All-American by all three organizations. Moss led the nation in scoring (27.8 ppg) and also broke the NCAA DIII record for points in a game, scoring 63 points against Waynesburg University in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Semi-final game. Moss was named the PAC Player of the Year and a First-Team All-PAC member.

As a junior, Moss repeated as the NCAA DII Player of the Year in the WBCA, and Women’s DIII News, while also being recognized as the PAC Player of the Year and First-Team All-PAC member. Moss led the Saints to the NCAA DIII Championship, breaking the NCAA all-division scoring record in men’s or women’s tournaments, scoring 197 points in six games.