100th anniversary for Kentucky High School basketball is approaching
The 2017-18 high school basketball season will be a celebratory one for Kentucky. That season will mark the 100th anniversary of the roundball sport in Bluegrass high schools.
A group has been formed that is planning a year-long celebration of Kentucky high school basketball, that will culminate with one of the great spectacles in basketball — the 2018 Kentucky High School Basketball Tournament.
Under the supervision of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, and it will be celebrating its own 100th anniversary this coming school year, principals from 18 high schools formed the organization and held a state basketball tournament.
By 1935, nearly 575 schools were playing basketball as the sport soared in popularity. And you can imagine how many backyard and gravel drive goals were put up around the Bluegrass.
The success of Kentucky high school basketball can be summed up in the quote, “Every town has its team and every team has its town.”
It was after World War I that the sport began its official status and high school basketball has endured war, depression, sexual and racial discrimination, consolidation and classification pressures while continuing to flourish.
Kentucky newspapers have played a major role in the development of and interest in high school basketball. Those of you who have archives/morgues can probably go back to the 1920s, maybe even the 1917-1918 season to see if local schools were playing basketball then. I dare say one of the roles local newspapers play is reporting on basketball at all levels — from grade schools and local leagues to middle schools and especially local high schools. Don’t cover them and you’ll likely see your circulation numbers rapidly decline. Basketball is that important in communities across the Commonwealth.
Ken Trivette, chair of the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame, stopped by the office Thursday to deliver a packet of information about the Centennial Celebration of High School Basketball. And if you’re wondering about the “32” that’s the focus of the logo above, well that comes from the 32 minutes of play (four, 8-minute quarters) for any high school game, that doesn’t go into overtime.
The Centennial Committee includes a media subcommittee with some well-known sports reporters involved, including Mike Fields, Billy Reed, Bob White, Dave Baker, Chris Slater, Kayla Moore, Steve Moss and J.R. VanHoose.
And just to clarify it is not the upcoming school year that will be the Centennial focus but is the 2017-18 season that celebrates 100 years of high school basketball in the Bluegrass.