Donna Murphy Award

Do you know a great senior lady basketball player who not only has success on the court but in the classroom and has exceptional character?   Nominations for the 2023 Donna LJ Murphy Award will be accepted from coaches, athletic directors and principals from across the state starting December 5, 2022. The deadline for nominations to be submitted is January 13, 2023. The nomination form will be on this website and submitted electronically.  Members of the Murphy family will determine the finalist.

donna murphyDonna LJ Murphy played basketball at Newport High School from 1972-76 and went on to become an All-American and graduate of Morehead State University, and their first female student-athlete to have her jersey retired. She is a member of eleven Hall of Fames including the Kentucky Basketball Hall of Fame and recipient of numerous honors. She was awarded the Ted Sandford Award for being named the MVP of the 1975 Kentucky state tournament after she scored 67 points and grabbed 50 rebounds. During her senior year she was named Kentucky’s first Miss Basketball in 1976, averaging 35 points and 20 rebounds. She was also the State AA high jump champion in 1974 and All-region in volleyball while at Newport High School.

Murphy 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 days and completing her graduate degree, she transitioned from player to coach. Her college coaching stints included the University of Kentucky, University of Florida, University of Memphis, Morehead State University, University of Cincinnati and she started the first women’s basketball program at Asbury University. She also coached at Lexington Christian Academy, Bryan Station High School, Lexington Traditional Magnet School and coached summer AAU and Exposure basketball.

dlmjMurphy embodied the “student-athlete” role by graduating fifth in her class with honors from Newport High School, while excelling in three varsity sports. As a student-athlete at Morehead State University she graduated magna cum laude twice, with a BA in Communications/ Journalism with Teacher Certification, and a MHE in Counseling.

The DONNA LJ MURPHY Award will presented to a Kentucky female high school senior basketball student-athlete, who exemplified the essence of “student-athlete”.

The award criteria is listed below:

  • Proven academic credentials and college bound
  • Outstanding athletic ability
  • Character traits of integrity, commitment, strong work ethic and positive attitude
  • Respect for self and others
  • Servant leadership
  • Overcoming adversity
  • Class act on and off the court

Nominations will be accepted from coaches, athletic directors and principals. Nominations will be accepted from December 5, 2022 – January 13, 2023 at 11:59 PM (EST).  


2023 Nomination Form

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