Kentucky Black Sports History

KY Black Sports History

The Kentucky Black Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization managed by the Buffalo Foundation. Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, it was organized by a group of concerned Kentucky civic leaders and sports aficionados in 2009 in an effort to broaden the public awareness and understanding of the role African-Americans have played in the rich history of Kentucky Sports. It also seeks to highlight the role of diversity and cultural tolerance in the growth of high school, collegiate and professional sports. It also seeks to provide education, social and career opportunities for youth through the efforts of the Buffalo Foundation. The cornerstone of the Kentucky Black Sports Hall of Fame will be History, Freedom, Education and Culture.

Travis Grant/Kentucky State

There is plenty to celebrate. From the bodacious confidence of boxing legend Muhammad Ali to the prolific scoring of former Kentucky State and American Basketball Association Star Travis Grant, African-Americans have made numerous contributions to landscape of Kentucky Sports. People like former Baltimore Colts star turned businessman Lenny Lyles, NBA great Wes Unseld, Male coach Wade Houston, who went on to become the first African-American coach at the University of Tennessee and going back to John McClendon who won championship after championship at Kentucky State. We also have Clem Haskins who went from Campbellsville to a Hall of Fame NBA career and successful coaching career at Western Kentucky and the University of Minnesota. Wade’s son Allan also probably would have to get a mention following a stellar high school career at Louisville Ballard that led him to Tennessee and the NBA. There also high school coaching legends like Bob Graves of Central High School in Louisville along with NFL stars Art Still, Shaun Alexander and Frank Minniefield. We also plan to honor at some point sports legends Billy Ray Bates, Coach William Keane and Lucious Mitchell; Harlem Globetrotter and Negro Baseball League great Clarence Wilson.

The Kentucky Black Hall of Fame will provide Kentucky residents an opportunity to better understand the impact African American have had on Kentucky sports and society.  The vision of the Kentucky Black Sports Hall of Fame is to enrich, enlighten and educate our young people while honoring our true heroes from the past. We intend to educate the general public on lost legends and forgotten heroes in baseball, boxing, horse racing, track and field, etc. We plan to hold the first ceremony where we will introduce our first nominees in April 2010 with a gala roast and banquet at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville. To maximize support and exposure, we plan to hold three fundraising events during 2010 before the Black Sports Hall of Fame officially opens at the Buffalo Foundation in January 2011. There we will house jerseys and other collectibles for public display.