A cathedral rises for Kentucky high school basketball



The Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches unveiled a rendering of the Hall of Fame Museum they plan to build at the Elizabethtown Tourism Center during a press conference Wednesday.

The coaches have acquired a former Presbyterian Church built downtown in 1872, with plans to create a space that will honor the state’s past high school coaches and players. That’s Phase One of the project, said Ken Trivette, executive director of the coaches group.

Phase Two will provide an addition to the renovated building devoted to the future standouts in the high school game.

“The Hall of Fame is a vision of the coaches association,” Trivette said. “We want to make a facility that people from Pikeville to Paducah will want to come and see and be proud of. We want to make this a tourist attraction and a facility the community of Elizabethtown can use. We hope to have a theater built like a half-court basketball floor in the new section.”

Mike Pollio, the University of Louisville’s associate athletic director and a leader in fundraising for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, is heading the team that is raising money for the Hall of Fame project.

Pollio, who coached basketball at Manual High School, Kentucky Wesleyan, Virginia Commonwealth and Eastern Kentucky University, said U of L athletic director Tom Jurich “was kind enough to let me work on this. He is tremendously supportive of this project.”

Pollio said his team’s goal was to raise $100,000 a month, and after 3½ months the group has raised $350,000. “We’re excited,” he said. “Going public with $350,000 is a good start.”

The goal is to have Phase One completed by late next year and to be in it by July 2015. Plans are for Phase Two to be finished by 2018, which will mark the 100th anniversary of the boys’ Sweet 16 basketball tournament.

The Hall of Fame has inducted 33 members over the past two summers. By March 2018, the coaches expect to have 100 members in the Hall.

“We could call this the Cathedral of High School Basketball,” Pollio said. “Isn’t basketball a religion in this state?”

— Bob White,

Special to The Courier-Joural

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