Kelly Coleman 0f Wayland
High School Vitals Statistics
Name: Kelly Coleman
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 215 lbs
College Team: Kentucky Wesleyan College
Birthplace: Wayland, Kentucky
Played 2 years for the New York Knicks, 1961 & 1962
Played 2 years in the ABL, and was
second leading scorer in the ABL.
Named MVP in ABL 1963
The starting five for Wayland all averaged in double figures.
Wayland's 1956 Kentucky High School Tournament
Wayland 87------Shelbyville 76
QUARTERFINALSWayland 65 ------ Earlington
SEMIFINALSCarr Creek 68 ------
Wayland 122 ------ Bell Co. 89
KELLY'S FOUR YEAR RECORD at
WAYLAND HIGH SCHOOL
GAMES 1,919 TOTAL POINTS 46.8 AVERAGE
GAMES1,174 TOTAL POINTS 32.6 AVERAGE
GAMES 784 TOTAL POINTS 26.1 AVERAGE
GAMES 386 TOTAL POINTS 19.3 AVERAGE
GAMES 4,263 TOTAL POINTS 33.6
King Kelly's point
total of 68 POINTS in the consolation game of the state high school tournament was not his highest score that season.
That same year in a regular season game, Coleman scored 75 Points against the Maytown Wildcats.
final score was 74 points. KELLY outscored
team from Maytown by 1 POINT.
Headlines in local newspapers
Kelly Coleman 75 Maytown 74".
score WAYLAND 122 Maytown 74.
The King of high school
basketball, Kelly Coleman averaged a tournament record of 49 points a game in the 1956 Kentucky High School tournament.
of today's date, 9-29-09, Kelly Coleman still holds the record in the KHSAA sweet 16 tournament in 7 different categories.
1. Most Points in a single
2. Most points in tournament:
3. Most Field Goals in
a single game: 27
4. Most field goals
in a half: 14
5. Most field goals
in tournament: 69
6. Most free throws in
7. Most rebounds in a
single game: 28
3rd in most free throws
in a single game: 18
of these records have been broken and still stands today.
THREE YEAR RECORD
KENTUCKY WESLEYAN COLLEGE
2 Seasons: 1st team Small College All-American
#1 in Career
Scoring average: 27.7
points career: 2,077
#1 in points
for single season, 1960: 848 points
Rebounding average: 12.1
#3 in Nation
in college (all divisions) scoring, 1960: 30.3 per game
#6 Career Rebounds: 904
Fifty-three years ago in 1956 , Kelly Coleman was a senior at the now defunct Wayland High School (Wayland High School joined
the ranks of many high schools in Kentucky that became victims of County consolidations). But the player who would be known
as the greatest high school basketball player in U. S. history was anything but your average student. Kelly
Coleman averaged 46.8 points per game in 1956 for the Wayland High School Wasps basketball team and was called “the
greatest high school player who ever lived” by legendary University of Kentucky head coach Adolph Rupp.
the 1956 state tournament, Coleman faced a hostile crowd who was anxious to see Kelly fail. Every major school tried
to recruit Coleman, but he decided to play basketball at West Virginia University. Before he traveled to Morgantown to play
for the Mountaineers, the NCAA investigated claims of illegal recruiting practices by the school in an effort to sign Coleman.
Kelly had actually played for the Mountaineers, he would have been teamed up with Mountaineer legend Jerry West. Which quite possibly
could have the been the best 1-2 punch in NCAA histoty, but fate had other plans. After receipts from Coleman’s
credit card purchases were obtained, he was not allowed to play basketball at West Virginia by a ruling made by the NCAA.
Coleman then found out the University of Kentucky had contacted the NCAA and asked for an investigation. That finalized his decision
of not attending UK, cheating destiny, now he never would have the chance to play as a Wildcat, as all UK fans wanted him
to do. That literally was the nail in the coffin for the greatest high school player of all time, and would have to settle
playing at the NCAA small college level. Not at the University of Kentucky, not West Virginia or any division
Kelly worked in Ohio for a year, and then decided to continue his education and play more basketball, and enrolled at Kentucky
Wesleyan College in Owensboro, where he once again rewrote the record books.
The King of high school basketball was the 11th overall pick in the 1961 NBA draft by the New York Knicks, where he played
2 years. Kelly left the NBA after 2 years and went to the new ABL where his topsy-turvy basketball career finally ended. What
a legacy this Mountain man left, leaving his mark for all of the young men playing basketball in the Mountains of
"King Kelly Coleman" by Gary P. West
King Kelly Coleman: Kentucky's Greatest
By Gary P. West
In a state where the love of basketball itself is legendary, there
are its rare heroes who also, through the dispassionate lens of history, rise to legendary status. When that legend rises
so far above the others to acquire mythical or rather, folk hero, proportions - and then enigmatically vanishes- you have
King Kelly Coleman.
This shy, humble mountain boy blessed with extraordinary talent and drive captured Kentucky's hearts
and its all-time record books with performances that have yet to be equaled - even half a century later. Never before in print,
the authorized King Kelly Coleman story, as told by award-winning author Gary P. West, from actual interviews and information
from Coleman himself.
"...A portrayal of who is arguably the best high school player to ever have played the game of
basketball in the Bluegrass."
University of Kentucky Wildcats
1964 - 1966
was one of the most exciting players in Kentucky's history, and his legendary feats are still being talked about today. This
book sets the records and stories straight."
–Joe B. Hall
Former head basketball coach
University of Kentucky
must read for the basketball fan who wants to know the real story about Kentucky's greatest basketball legend, King Kelly
Veteran announcer of the Boys Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament and Western Kentucky University
greatest prep basketball player in history."
Former head basketball coach
University of Kentucky
Note: I found the book to be extremely interesting and informative. There's
a section about Henderson City High's runner-up to Carr Creek. There's even more about former Henderson Barret great Don Gish.
BLUE YONDER: Kentucky: The United State
By Lonnie Wheeler
Only in Kentucky does a sport say so much about a state. Blue Yonder reads
like a fast-paced novel and is filled with dozens of characters from the legendary King Kelly Coleman to the stalwarts of
the 1977 UK team that against all odds went into overtime for the NCAA Championship. Between the birth of UK’s national
prominence under Adolph Rupp and its rebirth under Rick Pitino is an all-encompassing look at the mysterious culture of Kentucky
basketball. Never before has a book captured so ardently the regional pride that fuels this state’s obsession.
News from the Holler
This web-site is dedicated to the Barret
Henderson City High Sports teams from
Especially the Henderson City High 1955-56 sports
that had so many great gifted student/athletes.
SAR2 CREATIONS of NEVADA
©, TM, ®,
2008, 2009, 2010
The contents of this web site are intended to be used
only for the educational value and entertainment enjoyment.
An alumni of Henderson City High School stated to me:
"Once a Flashman, always a Flashman".
Truer words have never been spoken.
Many thanks to the people listed below for their contributions.
Adams (HHS '59),
Elaine Benson (HNHS: '59),
Pascal Benson (HHS '56)
Don Gish (BMTHS '55),
Glenda Alexander Guess (HHS '57),
Shirley Hagan (HHS '56),
Billy Haynes (HHS '59),
Keach Nolan (HHS '56),
Dr. Fred Schuette (HHS '56),
Sammy Joe Shelton (HHS '56),
Bud Bayard Walters (HHS '59),
Coach T. L. Plain
all artwork/photos are the property
of SAR2 CREATIONS of Nevada,
©, TM, ®, 2007, 2008, 2009. 2010,
Please contact webmaster for any use of artwork or photographs.
All photographs used are public-domain,
there are no violations of copyright laws
or Hippa Laws of Privacy.
Shelby A. (Lex) Riggs II
Please note that all photographs were sent in by former
students of Henderson City High School. They have all been edited, corrected & cleaned up as well as they
possibly could. If you are displeased with a photo, simply scan the photo that you want replaced and I will be more than happy
to replace it.
Thanks for your support,
Lex Riggs, webmaster