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Muhlenberg Co. native and Kentucky basketball trailblazer Reggie Warford dies at 67

Muhlenberg Co. native and Kentucky basketball trailblazer Reggie Warford dies at 67

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WFIE) – Former Muhlenberg County basketball star Reggie Warford, who’s the initial Black player to graduate from the College of Kentucky, passed absent Thursday at the age of 67.

“Reggie Warford passed absent this early morning at property surrounded by his loving family,” Uk men’s basketball head mentor John Calipari claimed in a assertion. “I know how substantially Reggie meant to Kentucky and how he inspired other people, which includes Jack Givens and James Lee. Reggie and I worked alongside one another at Pitt in the 80s and have remained mates. I’m heading to miss out on my brother, might God bless you, Reggie.”

Recruited out of Drakesboro High University in Muhlenberg County, Warford averaged 27 details per recreation during his senior year, which acquired him second-workforce All-Point out honors. He was at some point inducted into the KHSAA Corridor of Fame in 2019.

Warford was the 1st signee for Joe B. Hall in 1972 following succeeding famous United kingdom coach Adolph Rupp, turning into only the 2nd Black varsity player to ever consider the courtroom for the Wildcats in men’s basketball.

Warford performed in 50 games around his four a long time in Lexington, scoring 206 job points. He was a member of the 1976 NIT Championship team, as nicely as part of the 1975 crew that finished as the NCAA Tournament runner-up.

“Reggie Warford played an crucial function in the history of British isles Athletics,” reported Mitch Barnhart, Uk Director of Athletics. “His profession as a participant and scholar, and his existence as a indigenous Kentuckian, helped set the stage for the ongoing growth of integration of Kentucky basketball and our entire athletics application. We are deeply saddened by his passing and our condolences are with his relatives, good friends and teammates.”

Adhering to his collegiate career, Warford went on to grow to be an assistant coach at Pittsburgh, Iowa Point out and Lengthy Seashore Point out. He served as the head mentor of the Harlem Globetrotters in 2003.

Warford gained the United States Basketball Writer’s Association’s Most Courageous Award in 1984.

He coached at various substantial colleges, such as Muhlenberg County, and coached his sons.

Above the past 10 years, Warford battled different well being troubles and underwent several organ transplants.

When recovering from the transplants, Warford formulated sarcopenia, a neuromuscular ailment that robs the target of muscle mass and toughness. There is no get rid of.

In a 2019 interview with our sister station WKYT, Warford said he does not want pity and that he’s lived a wonderful lifetime. He’s very pleased of the legacy he’s leaving for his spouse and two sons, and the Black players who’ve come soon after him.

“As the eldest of the Kentucky African-American players,” he claimed, “I want ‘ em to know me. I want ‘em to know who I was. They never need to have to know each and every in and out, but I want ‘ em to know me…”

Know him, he said, as a man who could participate in the recreation as a fantastic teammate, as a guy who aided bring a countrywide title to his university, as very well as another person of higher character.

Warford is survived by his wife Marisa, and sons Grant and Tyler.

Funeral preparations are pending.

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