Former KWC Basketball Star, King Kelly Coleman, Passes Away

Former KWC Basketball Star, King Kelly Coleman, Passes Away

HAZARD, KY. (WFIE) - Kentucky’s First Mr. Basketball, “King” Kelly Coleman died Sunday Evening at Noreen and Greg Wells Hospice Care Center in Hazard.

Coleman, who led the Wayland Wasps to a Sweet 16 appearance in 1956, set many high school records on his way to being named Kentucky Mr. Basketball in 1956. One of the most famous records being the 4,337 points he scored in his high school career.

Coleman committed to West Virginia University out of high school but after not being admitted because of academics, he stayed in the Bluegrass State playing for Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro.

"King" was a two time All-American in college before being drafted by the New York Knicks in 1960, but Coleman's NBA career was short lived after being let go from the Knicks before the 1960-61 season.

Coleman would later return back home to the eastern Kentucky, where he was close to other former Mr. Basketball Players and anyone else who had the pleasure to meet him.

"Kelly is an iconic figure, anytime that you get to be around him and hear his stories it is a great experience and then when you've got people that watched him play in high school or remember him in college, you want to hear those stories too," said 1998 Kentucky Mr. Basketball J. R. VanHoose.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Coleman was 80 years old when he died.

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