Bluegrass Basketball Season 2, Episode 4

Bluegrass Basketball – Season 2, Episode 4.

Kayla and Jon are back after a much needed extended break. They recap the King of the Bluegrass tournament along with other Holiday matchups that you may not have heard about. The injury bug has bitten the whole state, it seems, so Kayla and Jon weigh in on what that means for the Mr. Basketball award. They end with a quick All A preview and are ready for next week!

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Former Floyd Central Coach Kevin Spurlock Opens Up About Allegations

In early December, a small school in Langley, KY made statewide headlines. Eight players left the Floyd Central basketball team, only returning on one condition — that Kevin Spurlock wasn’t the coach. The accusations were of verbal abuse, “crossing the line” beyond cursing — Parents claimed that highly graphic language was used. One parent’s complaint was with a verbal altercation with a fan during a game. No claims of physical abuse transpired; simply that the things Kevin Spurlock said and did somehow crossed the line for their children.

Floyd Central’s administration, along with Floyd County’s Superintendent and Athletic Director, investigated the matter, meeting with each child, and ultimately deciding that Spurlock in fact broke their Zero Tolerance Policy for swearing, and the decision was made to give Coach Spurlock a 3-game suspension. Administrators did not find enough corroborating evidence to other allegations brought forth.

The kids and parents were not satisfied with that decision; Players did not return. Posts on social media continued to ridicule the investigation and Spurlock himself. It became clear that they were accepting nothing short of termination.

The administration of Floyd County Schools found no evidence of offenses worthy of firing Kevin Spurlock — yet trouble persisted. Darkness loomed over the program; Players who stuck with the program suffered through 12 losses: Spurlock knew what he needed to do.

On Friday, January 4th, 2019 — Kevin Spurlock gave his resignation to the administration of Floyd Central High School.

A local radio station, WMDJ, did an interview this morning with Floyd County Superintendent Dave Adkins who said: “When I met with Coach Spurlock… he was never forced to resign, he was not fired, he did this on his own accord and I think his concern was for the program and for the school. I think that led to his decision.”

With so many instances of Coaches fading into the background when controversies occur — taking the role of villain in silence — Kevin Spurlock is sharing his perspective on the story.

While Kevin admits guilt in a few of the complaints — the verbal altercation with a fan, the cursing at players — he also denies several of the accusations. He shared how this has affected him personally, how his family has been impacted, and how some time off may do some good.

Spurlock also acknowledges that possibly he just wasn’t the right fit for this program — and what he would have done differently if he knew then what he knows now. He admits that maybe he pushed these kids too hard — or pushed the wrong ones. He claims a level of fault in the matter but knows his style works — he has the resume to back it up.

He closed his interview with well wishes and a statement that he would still do anything for those kids despite the recent controversy — and he will prove it next week as he presents Ethan Smith-Mills with his 1000 Point milestone commemorative basketball — at Ethan’s request.

You can watch Kevin’s story at-length below.

The Zip Zone Express Tip-Off Classic

The title is a mouthful but it is the most well-known pre-season Panorama in the basketball realm — and has been for over two decades.

Its host — Sheldon Clark High School — has done an incredible job of bringing in incredible talent each year. You can always expect to see Kentucky High School Basketball’s top teams of that year on the schedule — plus some elite out of state schools — and in doing so, it has featured big name recruits like Rajon Rondo, Allan Houston, O.J. Mayo, Damien Fishback, Tim Couch, John Pelphrey, J.R. VanHoose, and many more.

2015’s lineup had an appearance from John Calipari himself — who was there recruiting Sacha Killeya-Jones.

The game has also had some legendary contributors and staff. The most noteworthy being Robin Harmon Newsome. Robin is a former Kentucky All-Star, 4-time Regional Champion, and legendary coach. She said, “Along the way, the Tip-Off Classic became a first class event in which we really didnt have to invite teams. I had a waiting list of schools all over state who wanted in it.” Robin ran the tournament as Sheldon Clark Athletic Director from 2005-2017.

This year’s schedule may be one of the event’s best, as we will be seeing Pendleton County — led by Senior Dontaie Allen, who is the University of Kentucky’s first in-state recruit since 2013 — when Cal signed Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis.

For the Louisville fans, you’ll also get a chance to see UofL’s latest in-state recruit: David Johnson of Trinity — and he is a joy to watch; UHA’s KyKy Tandy, an Xavier commit who plays some extremely smooth basketball; and last but not least, a highly skilled Michael Moreno of Scott County, who is currently uncommitted but sitting on several offers. Also participating, a bit of local talent: Lexington Herald-Leader Top 25 players 6’11” Sophomore Trey James and Senior Jacob Rice.

The Zip-Zone Classic Full Schedule
Saturday, November 24th 2018
Booth Energy Center (Formerly Sheldon Clark High School)

9:15  – Martin County Middle vs Logan, WV
10:15 – Sheldon Clark vs Prestonsburg (Girls)
11:55 – Pikeville vs Greenup County
1:20 – Shelby Valley vs Elliott County
2:45 – Scott County vs University Heights
4:10 – George Rogers Clark vs Trinity
5:35 – Johnson Central vs Knott County
7:00 – Pendleton County vs Chapmanville, WV
8:25 – Sheldon Clark vs East Ridge

For the first time in a couple of years, this tournament will be back in its original location, only under a new name: Booth Energy Center. Those of you familiar with the area will know it as Sheldon Clark’s old gym.

Martin County entrepreneur Jim Booth purchased and renovated the old building — and this will be the first event held in the newly named Booth Energy Center.

Jim and his family have contributed to the community of Inez in just about every way imaginable — from sporting events to providing jobs for the area — they’ve been a key part of what gives this tournament its longevity and success.

James Mills, VP of Operations for Zip Zone Express, Inc., says “Zip Zone Express is excited to continue our tradition of hosting the Tip-Off Classic. For over 20 years, we have been dedicated to putting together an exciting program that showcases high school basketball talent from around the state. Furthermore, Zip Zone Express has always been dedicated to our community, and we are looking forward to donating the proceeds from the event to the Sheldon Clark Athletic Department.”

Tickets for the Tip-Off Classic will be $5 for general admission, first come first serve — and like Mr. Mills said, the Zip Zone event is charitable — 100% of the proceeds from both ticket and concession sales go directly to Sheldon Clark Athletics. Programs will be available as well, make sure you snag one!

Now, for the good stuff. While you’re around, you’ve gotta eat. And maybe you or the kids will need a break from the roundball — so let this native Martin Countian give you an insider’s guide on what to do while you’re in town.

Lodging:

The Brookshire Inn
2965 KY-40
Inez, KY 41224

Now through November 24th, you can mention the Tip-Off Classic and get $10 off your stay. The Brookshire Inn is 1 mile away from the gym where the games will be played and puts you next to a Zip Zone location, where you can get fuel or grab some Papa Johns pizza!

Things to Do:

Main Street Cinemas
387 Main Street
Inez, KY 41224

You would be hard-pressed to find another theatre this clean and accommodating in this neck of the woods. Located in the Roy F. Collier Community Center Main Street Cinema hosts movie-release themed activities for kids and neighbors an arcade and indoor playground.

God’s Promise Trail

If you’re up for a good hike, right beside of the Roy F. Collier Community Center mentioned above, there’s a beautiful trail you can climb and really experience the joy of the beauty in the area. It is a wonderful spot to get back in touch with nature.

Dining:

Cloud 9 Cafe
2960 Airport Road
Davella, KY 41214

One of Coach Cal’s personal favorites is the Cloud 9 Cafe. Nestled on Route 3 South before arriving in Inez, it’s beside of Martin County’s very own airport. The view on the drive to the restaurant is picturesque — and if you drive slowly enough, you just might see a few Elk. Try the Monte Christo!

Inez Dairy Bar
402 E Main St
Inez, KY 41224

If you’re looking for a sit-down, local burgers-and-ice-cream joint, look no further than Inez Dairy Bar. They have a long menu with a lot of options for everyone — and make sure you try Mrs. Judy’s homemade desserts sitting right there in the case at the counter.

Pizza Stop
1488 Blacklog Rd.
Inez, KY 41224

Anybody that was raised in Inez and moved away will always tell you — their “must have” on a visit home is Pizza Stop. A wide variety of pizza flavors and sub sandwiches, you can’t go wrong with just about anything you choose. If you stop by, ask for the local favorite — the Ham Wedge.

Of course if you’re in a hurry, there are quite a few Fast Food choices in town. McDonald’s is just across the way from the gym, and in downtown Inez you’ll find Taco Bell, KFC, and a Subway — right across from the movie theater. If you stop by Subway, tell them you’re here for the Zip Zone Tip-Off Classic, and you’ll get a free cookie with your purchase.

I’ll be on site most of the day, hopefully enjoying some competitive basketball all while soaking in the nostalgia of the re-opening of my alma mater’s gym. See you all there!

Kayla Moore VanHoose
Bluegrass Basketball
Follow @BluegrassBball on Twitter!

Thanks go to Tiffany Nichols Fannin, Dwayne Sweeney, and Robin Newsome for your contributions of information for this article.

X Man

One of the more anticipated decisions of the c/o ’19 was resolved recently when Dekeyvan “KyKy” Tandy announced that he would be taking his game to the next level at Xavier University.

The combo guard from UHA was highly sought after by the likes of Clemson, Cincinnati, and Auburn (among others).  It ultimately came down to Ole Miss and Xavier.  He went into an official visit with the Musketeers on October 19th and had already planned to announce his decision the following Tuesday.  If they hadn’t won him over before then, apparently they sealed the deal on that trip.  He came home and made it official a couple days later.

Tandy is the second player from the state of Kentucky to join Xavier’s 2019 class joining Walton Verona’s big man Dieonte Miles (rated as high as a 3 star center from Walton, KY).

These two will make a total of 4 from the Bluegrass State joining junior Leighton Schrand (Villa Hills) and junior guard Quentin Goodin (Campbellsville, KY) who has played a big role in Xavier’s success over the last two seasons.

With the decision out of the way, Tandy is freed up to focus on his senior season.  As a junior he averaged 30.5 ppg while shooting nearly 45% from behind the arc and nearly 5 rebounds per game as well.  He will be in the mix, if not the favorite for the Mr. Basketball award.  His senior year will be one to keep an eye on, but where he will play in college is no longer in doubt.

For more coverage for hoops, be sure to follow @jndavis2181 on Twitter as well as @BluegrassBball

The King and I

Today is the 80th Birthday of Kelly Coleman —- one who basketball fans and aficionados alike know as “King” Kelly. B99C2F39-1004-4534-9AF8-946E91095F49 He graduated high school in 1956 and was named our first ever Mr. Basketball.

To you, he may be the KHSAA all-time leading scorer. He may be that legend and lore you’ve heard all of your life as a basketball player. To you, he may be the Greatest High School Basketball Player that Ever Lived. He absolutely is all of those things. You know what else he is?

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My best friend. He’s a shot at getting to enjoy a grandfather figure as I get older (because Lord knows mine were gone way too soon.) He’s someone I can ask about “back then”, someone I can talk about life, today’s struggles, and a simpler time.

Someone I get to laugh with, smile with, and as of lately — cry with, too.

I’ve only known Kelly for about 4 years but it feels like a lifetime.

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I could never replicate the joy he brings to my days as I grow older and begin to appreciate his wisdom, his troubles, his jokes, and even his choice in movies.

You see, King Kelly is a great basketball legend, and that will carry on for lifetimes in the record books and stories… but he is so much more than that, too, and that will carry on in my heart for the rest of my days.

I hope it has been the absolute best birthday anyone could experience. And I hope I get to see many, many more.

Happy 80th Birthday, old man.