Rick Hendrick selected for state high school sports hall of fame
By Jim Turner

Posted on June 15, 2014 9:46 PM

Rich Hendrick, a long-time Logan County resident who bridged the gap between two of the greatest basketball eras in Western Kentucky University basketball history, has been named to theKentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

A prolific scorer, Hendrick averaged over 42 points per game his final two seasons at Bristow High School to wrap up a prep career in which he scored 3,070 points. As a junior, Hendrick led the nation in scoring with a 42.7 points per game average, totaling 1,110 points in just 26 games to earn Second Team All-State honors. He followed that up by scoring 1,135 points in 27 games as a senior for a 42.0 points per game average en route to his second All-State honor.

Before becoming a Logan Countian, he had a game to remember against a school from the Land of Logan. In fact, it its press release about the honorees, the KHSAA noted that Hendrick set a Fifth Region (now the Fourth Region) record by scoring 65 points against Adairville. He did that in three quarters, asking first-year coach Lowell Hammers not to play him in the fourth period to keep from embarrassing the Cardinals any further. The Comets won that game 128-48.

When Adairville played Bristow later, a headline in the News-Democrat proudly proclaimed, “Adairville holds Hendrick to 38 points.”

Hendrick was named Southern Kentucky’s Player of the Year in 1965, while also receiving All-America honors from Coach and Athlete Magazine, Dell Magazine and Clair Bee’s. In the final 53 games of his prep career, Hendrick scored 40-or-more points on 35 occasions, and topped 50 points 12 times.

He was one of 10 players across the nation selected to play in the first Dapper Dan Basketball Classic in March 26, 1965. It was created by Sonny Vaccaro and Pat DiCesare that year as the first national high school all-star game and continued in Pittsburgh for 28 seasons at the Civic Arena. Over 10,000 people saw Hendrick and the other nine stars play that night. Shortly before that DiCesare had brought The Beatles to the same arena in one of their earliest appearances in the United Sates. Vaccaro went on to become one of the best-known names in amateur basketball in the world.

The planners got all the national stars they wanted for that first game except the center from Power Memorial High School in New York City. He was Lew Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

The Dapper Dan was the catalyst for national all-star games, which morphed into the McDonald’s All-American Classic. In 1965 Rich Hendrick would have been a McDonald’s All American if there had been such a thing, but not all of America even knew what McDonald’s restaurants were at the time. In fact, it was that same year that McDonald’s went public on the stock exchange.

Back in Kentucky, legendary Western coach Ed Diddle recruited the home-county phenom to play for his Hilltoppers. Diddle had previously relied on another former star, Darrel Carrier. As a sophomore, Hendrick teamed with Clem Haskins and Greg Smith, who went on to solid NBA careers, and with Dwight Smith, who sadly drowned in an automobile accident between the time he was the number two draft pick of the Lakers and the start of training camp.

Two years later, Hendrick started as a senior along with sophomores Jim McDaniel, Clarence Glover and Jerome Perry. That group reached the Final Four under Coach Johnny Oldham in Houston two years later.

Hendrick married Russellville High School graduate Carol Holman, the daughter of the late Delbert and Irene Holman.

Rich Hendrick used his WKU education to become an ag lending specialist. He worked for Farm Credit services for 23 years. Then he spent seven years with Russellville’s Citizens National Bank and was still there when it became First Southern National Bank. Carol taught 24 years at Russellville High School, Russellville Middle School and Logan County High School.

They retired in 2005 and now live in Las Cruces, N.M. They had lived in Albuquerque earlier in their lives and have family in that area.

Another member of the Hall of Fame class is former WKU great, Crystal Kelly, who drew the attention of Logan Countians while she rewrote several of the records which had been held by Olmstead native Lillie Mason during her time on The Hill.

Kelly, a graduate of Louisville’s Sacred Heart Academy, won three consecutive KHSAA state championships from 2002 through 2004, winning all three titles at WKU’s E.A. Diddle Arena. During her four years under head coach Donna Moir, the Valkyries went 139-9 (.939), and finished 2003-04 ranked seventh in USA Today’s Super 25 poll after a 37-1 season.

In addition, former WKU assistant coach Kyra Elzy was also named to the 2015 class of the Dawahares/KHSAA Hall of Fame. Elzy is currently an assistant coach at Tennessee for head coach Holly Warlick.

Also in the Hall of Fame class for 2015 are Dickie Parsons, who was Coach Joe B. Hall’s top assistant on the 1978 Kentucky national championship team; North Hardin coaching great Ron Bevars; former UK players Dennis Johnson and Freddie Maggard; and Dudley Hilton, Adrienne Hundemer, and Dan Manley.

Among those already in this hall of fame are two native Logan Countians, Lillie Mason and Ray Vencil, a Russellvillian who had an outstanding high school coaching career in central Kentucky. Retired RHS football coach Ken Barrett is also a Hall of Famer, as are former Logan County High School track, football and basketball coach Mike Deaton; the late Howie Crittenden, who served as Russellville Middle School principal; and Jerry Kimmel, who is the dean of Kentucky basketball officials and a former director of Fourth Region officials.

The Class of 2015 will be inducted in ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, March 21, 2015, at the Lexington Convention Center. The Class of 2015 will also be recognized during the semifinals of the 2015 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16®. The induction of the 10-member Class of 2015 will bring the total number of honorees in the Hall of Fame to 433.

Tickets for the banquet are currently available by contacting the KHSAA offices.

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