Ex-UK star Macy lauds the loyalty of Wonders
KENOVA — Kyle Macy played on some of the biggest stages basketball can offer, but his heart was touched by the loyalty of small-town fans such as those of the Ceredo-Kenova High School Wonders.
Macy was the featured speaker Friday at the C-K Sports Weekend Celebration Dinner at Kenova United Methodist Church. The former University of Kentucky and NBA standout guard showed his admiration for the people of C-K and brought laughter to the crowd of about 120.
The dinner was organized to raise funds for a scholarship and C-K youth athletic programs.
C-K High School closed in 1998 when it joined Buffalo-Wayne and Vinson high schools to form Spring Valley High School.
“This is a great cause and to raise funds for the community is excellent,” Macy said, adding that he looks forward to Saturday’s Eric Sparks Memorial Golf Tournament. “This is a great way to impact the youth of this community. Anyone who has played sports knows the great lessons they teach.”
Macy played on Kentucky’s 1978 NCAA national championship basketball team that defeated Duke 94-88. Macy joked that he and Wildcats forward Jack Givens led Kentucky to the title that night.
“Jack and I combined for 50 points,” Macy said. “He scored 41 and I scored nine.”
Macy offered a similar take on his teaming with Michael Jordan to score 70 points for the Chicago Bulls vs. the Boston Celtics in a 1986 NBA playoff game.
“Michael had 63 and I had seven,” Macy said.
After a nine-year NBA career, Macy, an
assistant at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, coached at Morehead State University. He said he remembered the Eagles’ on-court battles with Marshall University.
“We wanted to get the rivalry with Marshall going again, so we came up to Huntington to play,” Macy said. “Marshall made 40 free throws and we attempted eight. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to renew that rivalry after all.”
But renew the I-64 rivalry they did. The next meeting was in Morehead, Kentucky, and Macy told how Eagles standout Ricky Minard came off the bench to score 35 points in a victory over the Thundering Herd.
Macy touched on several subjects, including his dislike of the rule that allows players to leave college for the NBA after one season.
“I’m not a fan,” Macy said of the “one-and-done” rule. “You don’t get to know the players and you don’t get to watch them grow. I can’t fault the players, though, because when you’re offered a four-year contract for $130 million, it’s hard to turn that down.”
Macy said he favors a rule such as used by Major League Baseball. Players who don’t sign out of high school and attend a four-year college must complete at least three seasons before being eligible to be drafted.
Macy said Wildcats coach John Calipari is a perfect fit for the job because “he can recruit and he’s a juggler,” able to handle the many facets of being the head coach at a school in the spotlight.
Former C-K multisport standout Rick Chaffin, now boys basketball head coach at Cabell Midland High School, also was honored. Author of the book “Here Come the Wonders,” Chaffin spearheaded a campaign to renovate the gym at C-K Elementary School and is helping lead the charge to renovate the football and baseball fields at C-K.
“I haven’t done anything anyone else here hasn’t done,” Chaffin said. “Volunteering is what people in these two communities do. I’m not deserving of this honor any more than 100 other people who could have been honored tonight. Everyone I looked up to as a kid was a coach or a volunteer.”
Chaffin presented legendary C-K football and boys basketball coach Carl Ward with a plaque from the West Virginia Sports Writers Hall of Fame. The plaque will be displayed in the C-K Elementary School gym.