The most recognized name in Kentucky high school basketball history has passed away at the age of 80.
Iconic figure “King” Kelly Coleman, who guided small-town Wayland to the Sweet 16 in 1956, was the state’s first-ever Mr. Basketball.
He passed away Sunday night in hospice care in Hazard.
Coleman played his college basketball at Kentucky Wesleyan College. He was a two-time All-American and was later drafted by the New York Knicks in 1960.
Following a brief NBA career, he returned home to the mountains he loved.
He had developed a close relationship with a number of Mr. Basketball players, including Paintsville’s J.R. Vanhoose and his wife, who cared deeply for the basketball legend.
Coleman scored 4,337 points. His name sits on top of the following all-time records: most points in a single season (1,734 in 1956); field goals made in a game (31 vs.Maytown in 1956); and field goals attempted (52 vs. Bell County in 1956).
Coleman was one of only 10 players in boys’ history to score 75 or more points in a game. He tallied those against Maytown and grabbed 41 rebounds.
Funeral arrangements are pending.