Article courtesy of KyForward
For the first time in the history of the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation Mr. and Miss Basketball Award, both honorees in a single season hail from the 11th Region.
Ben Johnson of Lexington Catholic High School was named Mr. Basketball and Brooklynn Miles of Franklin County High School was selected as Miss Basketball.
Johnson, a Bellarmine University signee, is the first member of the storied basketball history at LexCath to win the award.
Johnson led LexCath to an 18-game win streak to begin this season and finished with a 20-3 record by totaling 627 points and 140 rebounds for averages of 27.3 ppg and 6.1 rpg.
“It couldn’t be any better,” Johnson said when asked about the award capping off the stellar career that he had at LexCath. “I’ve worked my whole life for this. Ever since I could walk, I had a ball in my hands. I had two older brothers that pushed me in the driveway. They always made me work hard so I had to earn everything here. I had great teams and great coaches that just kept pushing me and pushing me. I had a great foundation. Its indescribable. The best way I could end it.”
As a five-year member of the Knights basketball program, Johnson amassed 2,349 points and 529 rebounds.
“Just working every day, you know,” Johnson added about his work ethic on the court. “Grinding and grinding. I would go into the gym late at night, wake up early, conditioning and lifting. Doing all that has really helped me.”
Johnson is the first Mr. Basketball winner to sign with Bellarmine and will look to help the Knights improve on their outstanding first season at the NCAA Division I level.
“I wanted to stay somewhere close to home,” Johnson said of his decision to attend Bellarmine. “Bellarmine is only an hour away from Lexington. I really liked the coaching staff, the players and their play style and I thought I could fit well in that program. I committed pretty early in my junior year and I’m really happy with it and couldn’t be more excited for my next four years.”
Miles is the second all-time leader in points and all-time leader in assists. She is the only player in school history to be selected as a McDonald’s All-American nominee and won the district most valuable player award three times.
Miles tallied over 2,200 points throughout a career at Franklin County that included being an integral part of back-to-back state runner-up finishes during her seventh and eighth-grade seasons and culminated with two more trips to the Sweet 16 to close out her time in a Flyers uniform.
“This award means so much to me,” stated Miles. “I just want all of the younger girls to look up to me and just be like, ‘I want to be great.’ I just want everyone to be great and work on whatever they need to work on. I just love my family, my support, my coaches and my teammates and the KHSAA for making all of this possible.”
Miles is the second Miss Basketball from Kentucky to have signed with the University of Tennessee after Lisa Harrison did so in 1989 after a standout career at Louisville Southern High School.
Harrison was also the national Gatorade High School Basketball Player of the Year winner in 1989 and eventually played professionally from 1996-2005 including a six-year career in the WNBA with the Phoenix Mercury.
The Mr. and Miss Basketball awards have gone to the same region on three previous occasions with the first being in 1986 when Rex Chapman of Apollo and Kris Miller of Owensboro Catholic from the 3rd Region took home the honors.
Carly Ormerod of Sacred Heart and Dominic Tilford of Jeffersontown out of the 7th Region were bestowed the honors in 2005.
The most recent occasion is also the only time that both awards went to student-athletes from the same school in the same season when Trevon Faulkner and Seygan Robins earned the award while attending Mercer County High School out of the 12th Region in 2018.
Both Miles and Johnson will also get the honor of wearing the #1 jersey when they suit up as members of the Kentucky All-Stars in the annual Kentucky/Indiana All-Star series this summer.