WAYLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - "When you hear the name King Kelly Coleman, That ought to bring up something. 68 points in a championship game, if that wasn't recorded, I would think someone is making that up and pulling my leg. 28 rebounds," said Jerry Fultz, Wayland's Mayor.
Kentucky first Mr. Basketball to be chosen by coach vote, "King" Kelly Coleman was an idol for athletes not just in eastern Kentucky, but all over the state, including 1998 Mr. Basketball J.R. VanHoose.
After joining the Mr. Basketball fraternity, VanHoose became good friends with Coleman, spending time together at different events like the Smithsonian at the mountain sports hall of fame in Wayland."
"He had seen my Mr. basketball trophy. He had made not just one comment but a few, ' Oh did you get that for Winning Mr. Basketball' and I would say yeah and tell him they had a reception for me and an announcement and things like that," VanHoose said.
A process that was much different than the one Coleman experience in 1956.
"He found out about it in the newspaper," Fultz said. "There was no formal letter. No big trophy or award or anything like that."
Thursday, more than 60 years later, the oversight was fixed when J.R VanHoose and Johnson Central High School coach Tommy McKenzie presented Coleman with his own Mr. Basketball trophy as a thank you for speaking at their youth basketball camp.
"He got emotional. He choked up. He started to tear up a little bit. You could really see then, just what that meant to him," VanHoose said.
A perfect example, showing that proper recognition comes better late than never.