TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
By Jeff Noble / staff writer
It was March of 1982. Rupp Arena was loud, noisy, and packed with fans for a barnburner of a game — the championship game — of the KHSAA Boys State Basketball Tournament.
North Hardin High School was playing Laurel County High, coached by Chuck Broughton.
With three seconds left in the game, Laurel County’s Paul Andrews shoots the ball from half-court.
It goes in. And the Cardinals were the state champs.
They still talk about “The Shot” some 31 years later.
And thanks to an organization that’s working to document sports history in film and pictures, a new generation will, too.
David Mills and Serur Dawahare talked about their work in preserving the rich history of Kentucky high school sports Thursday afternoon. They did so at the monthly meeting of the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce.
Dawahare and Mills work with the Sports History Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Nicholasville. They spoke to the chamber about their love and passion in preserving those most memorable moments, by recording the people who were there on the court, the gridiron, and in the field.
And they zeroed in with a fast fact — production of a documentary film about the ‘82 Laurel County basketball team is currently underway.
“All communities across Kentucky love their high school sports. And we’re sports junkies. When we go into these places and ask them about those magic moments, people say at first ‘I really don’t remember,’ until the camera starts to roll. Then, here come the stories. Here come the smiles, here come the tears, and here come the memories. It’s a great feeling to record that history,” said Mills, who is the foundation’s executive director.
“We’re trying to document history,” added Dawahare, who works with the foundation’s chief financial officer. He said his father — part of the Dawahare family clothing business in Kentucky — taught him the love of high school sports, which gives him the passion to preserve some of the most glorious moments in prep sports history.
Around 100 people came to the chamber meeting and luncheon, held at the London Community Center. To add another layer of dessert, Mills and Dawahare sweetened the session by showing excerpts on how the foundation produces and records their digital films, as well as parts of an earlier documentary they did on the 1982 Madison Central baseball squad called, “The Perfect Team.”
During the film presentation, the audience heard from former UK basketball legend Kyle Macy, and former Major Leaguer Doug Flynn. Both are on the foundation’s board of directors, as is David’s brother, Randy Mills.
Both Randy and David’s father was Tom Mills, who was Commissioner of the KHSAA (Kentucky High School Athletic Association) from 1976 to 1991.
And they heard a voice from someone in the recording, saying, “Now, my kids and grandkids can share those fantastic moments.”
Mills noted as he finished the presentation,”We’re looking to embrace the community of London and put this story of the 1982 State Championship.”
Several persons came to talk about the foundation after the meeting, and Mills brought up an important point as to why they work to preserve the past in prep sports.
“It doesn’t matter if they were in college sports or pro sports. They always remember those high school moments. It was a special time, and we’ve been received well in the communities we go to, and those memories identify those communities, like the ‘82 Laurel County team.”
Earlier at the meeting, those attending heard from Kristina McQueen, a marketing representative with The Job Shop staffing services, talk about how businesses and Chamber members can use her company’s services.
“Our focus is to find the right people, and have them ready for work,” she stated.
Rodney Hendrickson, the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission’s co-director, mentioned around 1,200 persons “from all over the country” came to the Redbud Ride last spring. Due to its success, a similar cycling event called the “Thriller Bicycle Ride” will be held Oct. 1`2 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Other upcoming events include the last “Crusin’ on London,” which will be downtown this Saturday; the World Chicken Festival next Thursday through Saturday; the Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Golf Classic on Oct. 4 at Crooked Creek Golf Course, and the rededication ceremony of the Hazel Patch marker on Oct. 5 at Levi Jackson State Park.
Teams and individuals participating in the Chamber’s 3rd Annual Co-Ed Softball Tournament on Aug. 24 were also honored at the meeting. Physicians Express Care was congratulated for winning the first place trophy, while second place went to Souls’ Harbor Church, while Laurel Grocery came in third. The Baptist Health Corbin “Pain Killers” were voted the Best Team Name, while the Christian Sturgeon Number Crunchers were awarded for Best Team Spirit, while the Laurel Grocery Getters unanimously were voted the team with the Best Uniforms.
Derek Malone was the winner of a new addition to the tournament, the Home Run Derby, while The Job Shop helped sponsor inflatables for the kids and Laurel Grocery set up a concession stand, with proceeds going towards breast cancer awareness and research.