Nominations for 2nd Annual Donna L.J. Murphy Award will be accepted until Jan. 29

photo of Donna MurphyLexington, Ky. (January 21, 2016) Nominations are now being accepted for the Donna L.J. Murphy Award, which is presented to a senior female basketball player who exemplifies the meaning of being a great student athlete. High school coaches, principals and athletic directors can nominate deserving students online at for the award. The deadline for nominations to be submitted is 11:59 p.m., Jan. 29. The award will be presented during the 2016 Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball Awards Ceremony, March 15, in the Bluegrass Ballroom of the Lexington Center in Lexington, Ky., starting at 6 p.m.

The Donna Murphy Award winner will be selected by Murphy based on the nomination form and student essay. In 2015 the award went to Morgan Rich, a senior at Allen County Scottsville High School, who played varsity basketball for six years and now plays for the University of Oklahoma. Rich was nominated as a McDonalds All-American and for the Gatorade Player of the Year. She started her senior season as Allen County Scottsville's all-time leading female scorer. Morgan was active in many school clubs including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America and Pep Club. On top of these activities Morgan maintained a 3.8 GPA.

Donna L.J. Murphy played basketball at Newport High School from 1972-76 and went on to become an All-American. During her senior year she was named Kentucky's first Miss Basketball in 1976, averaging 35 points and 20 rebounds. She was awarded the Ted Sanford Award for being named the MVP of the 1975 Kentucky state tournament after she scored 67 points and grabbed 50 rebounds in two games.

More than a great high school basketball player, Murphy was also the State AA high jump champion in 1974 and named All-Region in volleyball before graduating fifth in her class. As a highly recruited student-athlete, she chose to attend Morehead State University and graduated magna cum laude twice, with a bachelors degree in Communications/Journalism with teacher certification, and a MHE in Counseling.

Murphy remains a highly decorated high school and college student-athlete and a member of eleven Hall of Fames, including the Kentucky Basketball Hall of Fame. Murphy was also the first female student-athlete to have her jersey retired at Morehead State University and Newport High School. She was the first forward drafted in the Women's Professional Basketball League in 1980 and went on to play for the St. Louis Streak.

After her playing career she transitioned to coaching. She has held coaching positions at the collegiate level and also coached Pro-Am, high school, middle school, AAU and Exposure basketball. Murphy is currently a professor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) and oversees the Diversity Outreach Services and Intramural Sports. In her free time she is a basketball skills trainer.

For more information about nominations, please contact Donna Murphy,, 859-252-5744.