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14th Region Basketball

Memorial Gymnasium to be Recognized as First “Glory Road” Site by the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame

Hazard Memorial Gymnasium from Midcourt- photo by Brendon D. Miller - Bluegrass Sports Nation

Ceremony to be held Friday Night, 7:00 PM

HAZARD – January 31, 2020 – Brendon D. Miller – BSN

Venerable Memorial Gymnasium will receive the honor of being the first gymnasium in Kentucky to be recognized by the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame, as a “Glory Road” site. A ceremony will be held on Friday Night at 7:00 PM for the induction and a Ribbon Cutting to dedicate the gift from the Estate of Clara Brashear to facilitate the floor renovation.

Memorial Prior to floor renovation – photo Brendon D. Miller

“The Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame (KHSBHF) has announced the “Glory Road” project that will recognize and honor the many gymnasiums across Kentucky that have historical significance in the development of the cultural phenomenon of Kentucky high school basketball. For more than 100 years, Kentucky high school basketball has been embraced by Kentuckians who came together in gymnasiums of various shapes and sizes to support their teams. Over time, the KHSBHF will recognize many iconic gymnasiums along with the schools and communities that built them.”

BSN spoke with Executive Director of the KHSBHF, Gerg Purpus, earlier today and Director Purpus expressed, “We are excited to begin the Glory Road Project to highlight the historic gyms in the Commonwealth, and it is an honor to have Memorial Gym as our first honoree. Memorial Gym has meant so much to the area, and is certainly deserving of the recognition.” Mr. Purpus and Mr. Kent Davis will be on hand for the presentation.

Memorial after floor renovation – photo by Brendon D. Miller

Memorial was a product of the war effort in Hazard during World War II. Lawrence O. Davis was the Chairman of an organization leading efforts to aid our Country during the War. Mr. Davis raised funds to aid the effort, and it was determined that any excess funds would be used to build a memorial in Perry County that would be dedicated to the young men who did not return.

Following the end of the War, it was decided by Mr. Davis and the committee, that the funds would be used to build a place where the youth of Perry County could carry on better athletic programs, and so the city and county could have a large place for meetings, conventions and gatherings of all kinds.

The land where Memorial sits today was located and acquired, and ground was broken for the project on October 27, 1949. The first game was played in November, 1951 in which Hazard defeated London High School.

Memorial under the basket – (prior to renovation) – photo by Brendon D. Miller

During the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, Memorial was shared by Hazard High School, Buckhorn High School, M.C. Napier High School, and Dilce Combs High School. (Napier and Combs now being Perry County Central. As a result, Memorial has played host to more high school games than any other venue in the Commonwealth in its 70 year history.

Memorial during anthem earlier this year – photo by Brendon D. Miller

Memorial “represents a place where stars were born, champions crowned, fans and communities rallied, cheerleaders and bands excited, and a sport came to life!!” (from KHSBHF release)

Hazard and Perry Central are scheduled to tip at 7:30 PM in their second meeting of the year in 54th District action.

BSN will be on hand this evening to document the event and full game coverage of the Bulldogs and Commodores.

You can visit the KHSBHF site at:

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