Basketball legends highlight Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame class

Louisville, Ky. (March 4, 2009) – The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame has names its 2009 inductees; Mike Casey, Travis Grant, Patti Jo Hedges-Ward, Elmore Just, Bobby Keith, Marty O’Toole, Dan Ulmer and Mary Jean Wall. The inductees will be honored at a banquet on April 29 in Louisville. The event is sponsored by Kentucky Farm Bureau and proceeds benefit Kosair Charities.

The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame

2009 Induction Banquet

Wednesday, April 29

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Louisville (formerly Executive West Hotel)

6 p.m to 7:30 p.m. – cocktails and silent auction

7:30 p.m. – dinner and program

Media coverage of ticket sales and event is welcome.

2009 Inductees

Mike Casey led Shelby County to the 1966 boys’ State Tournament title and was named the 1966 Mr. Basketball. He was the leading scorer at the University of Kentucky as a sophomore from 1967 to 1968, averaging 20 points per game. He missed the1969-1970 season after breaking a leg in a car accident, but returned in 1970 and finished UK with 1,535 points, making him the 13th all-time scorer in UK history.

Travis Grant set a career college scoring record playing basketball at Kentucky State University (more than 4,000 points). He also spent more than one season with the Los Angeles Lakers and more than two seasons in the American Basketball Association, where he averaged 25.2 points per game for San Diego from 1974 to 1975.

A graduate of Louisville’s Western High School, Patti Jo Hedges-Ward was a starting point guard for the University of Kentucky’s only Southeastern Conference (SEC) women’s basketball championship team. She was an All-SEC performer, a gold medalist and a member of the 1983 Pan Am team.

Elmore Just was a golfer at Flaget High School and Bellarmine University where he captained the college’s undefeated team that went to the National College Athletic Association tournament. He championed at three golf clubs, founded Persimmon Ridge Golf Course and founded the Louisville Golf Club Company.

Bobby Keith is a former Clay County High School basketball coach who led the team to a state championship in 1987 and runners-up positions in 1985 and 1988. His teams have won 14 regional championships and no other coach has taken more teams to the Sweet 16. Under Keith’s leadership, the team has claimed 587 victories and only 97 losses.

A 1957 graduate of St. Xavier High School, Marty O’Toole was a four-time All-American and the first swimmer to win four state championships in the same event – the 100-yard breaststroke – making Kentucky high school sports history. After attending Catholic University and the University of Notre Dame, O’Toole returned to St. Xavier. He coached the Tigers for two years in the early 1970s, then returned as head coach in 1989, directing St. Xavier to state titles the past 20 seasons. He has coached 23 swimmers to 49 individual state championships, along with 37 relay state titles. They’ve set 16 state records and two national records with 59 members earning All-American status.

As Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Minor League Baseball, Dan Ulmer successfully led the drive to bring minor league baseball back to Louisville and organized a slate of buyers to purchase the Redbirds from A. Ray Smith who wanted to move the franchise. He is chairman of the new arena construction committee and once ranked 3rd among the top ten minor league baseball power brokers.

Mary Jean Wall is a pioneer among female sports journalists in the history of the Commonwealth. When she began covering horse racing for the Herald-Leader, she was one of the only women in America covering the beat. The three-time Eclipse Award-winner also won the John Hervey Award – a similar honor for writing about harness racing – three times.

Ticket information

Banquet tickets are $75 ($600 per table of eight) and available for purchase by calling Jo Barrett at (502) 637-7696. Tickets must be purchased by April 17.

About Kosair Charities

Since 1923 Kosair Charities has had one primary mission – helping children in need. Kosair Charities knows that the quality of a child’s tomorrow depends largely on the quality of health, medical treatment, and support a child receives today. That’s why over the years Kosair Charities has given more than $180 million to serve thousands of children and provide them a second chance at life. Kosair Charities is also the largest beneficiary to Kosair Children's Hospital.

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