Sunday, December 18, 2005
For over 15 years I've lived in the Maysville, Kentucky area. Tennessee is my "home" and UT my school. A couple of years ago, I watched Chris Lofton lead Mason County High School to a Kentucky state basketball championship and a runner-up championship. In Kentucky, basketball there is only one state basketball champion each year. All schools play for the championship, size does not matter.
Mason County High School consists of less than 1,000 students. The championship team had no player over 6' 3" tall and a coach needing a kidney transplant. During the championship tournament, Chris set records for three pointers attempted and three pointers made, for a single game and the entire tournament. With Chris' leadership, the team set the same records for a team.
Although Chris was Kentucky's Mr. Basketball his senior year (also first team all-state wide receiver), Kentucky and Louisville both failed to recruit Chris and Tennessee ended up with a diamond. As a freshman at Tennessee, Chris earned a starting position. His performance:
Third team selection on the 2004-05 Rivals.com Freshman All-America Team ... Named to the SEC All-Freshman team that is selected by the league's coachesTo top is off, Chris is not only a good basketball player but a good person, quiet, friendly and unassuming. You could find him at the YMCA or at a goal in the street somewhere, shooting baskets and playing with the little kids. His high school GPA was 3.5, maybe better. A good role model for the younger kids.
And the Mason County coach, his wife donated one of her kidney's and he's now head basketball coach at Hawaii Pacific University. For my money, this story, so far, is as deserving of a movie as Hoosiers.
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