I’m taking a page out of my friend Kevin Patton’s playbook as he recently had his list for the best players he’s seen in Henderson County.
While I’ve only been at the Kentucky New Era for three years, I’ve been lucky to see some ridiculously good basketball during my time here. Some would say spoiled and I’m one of those people.
I’d put the Eighth District in 2016-17 against any district in the state of Kentucky.
At first, I wanted to do just a list of 12 players but the more I thought about it, I realized I needed one more spot because I’d kick myself if I didn’t add this person to the list. They have some big aspirations ... If you catch my drift.
I’ll give five starters and a bench of eight players.
I’m sure someone will want to debate me and that’s fine, but this is my team during my time in Hopkinsville.
KyKy Tandy, University Heights Academy (2019)
This is one of quite a few no-brainers on the list. University Heights Academy’s KyKy Tandy will be one of the best basketball players I’ve ever covered. He did things I didn’t think were possible. From dunking over a seven-footer to hitting shot after shot against Caldwell County in the Second Region Tournament. Oh, and he led the Blazers to an All “A” Classic State Championship. I could go on and on about Tandy, but the truth is, he’s legit. When people talk in 30 years about the best players to come from Hopkinsville, Tandy will be on that list.
De’Torrion Ware, Christian County (2018)
Here’s another one of those that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Christian County’s De’Torrion Ware is a ridiculous shooter that has infinite range. One of my favorite Ware stories involves current Western Kentucky coach Rick Stansbury. When Stansbury was recruiting Franklin-Simpson’s Tavin Lovan, he came to CCHS to watch the F-S take on the Colonels. During the game, Ware let off a 3-pointer just as he crossed halfcourt. Stansbury leaned out of his seat and looked around. He thought Ware was going for a buzzer-beater ... There was 1:45 left on the clock in the first quarter. If I needed a shot to win the game, most of the time it would come from Ware.
Tray Hollowell, University Heights Academy (2017)
UHA’s Tray Hollowell really spoiled me when I arrived in Hopkinsville. He was one of the first players I saw that when I got here I said ‘whoa, that dude is good.’ Hollowell brought it every time I saw him during the end of his senior year, and it’s great to see him excelling at the next level as he suits up for the Wofford Terriers. Hollowell was also a Mr. Basketball candidate, something four of my starters have in common.
Jaylen Sebree, Christian County (2017)
County’s Jaylen Sebree averaged 17 ppg his senior year and was second on the team behind Ware’s 20.6 ppg. Sebree didn’t necessarily have to run the show for the Colonels, but he did his job whenever it came to him. Sebree’s size made him a nightmare to guard, and his length helped on the defensive end. Sebree is yet another player on this list that played Division I hoops.
Jalen Johnson, Hopkinsville (2018)
Despite a knee injury keeping him from being 100% his senior year, Hopkinsville’s Jalen Johnson showed why he deserves to be in the conversation of really good Tiger players. Johnson did his best to keep the team going while Shorty Cager had to sit out as Johnson was able to score from anywhere on the court. His game has grown as he played behind Ja Morant his freshman year and learned from Jay Scrubb this past season at John A. Logan.
Cory Trice, Christian County (2018)
County’s Cory Trice was a high-level Division I cornerback except on a basketball court. When Trice moved on the court, he just made it look easy.
Jamarion Sharp, Hopkinsville (2019)
Hoptown’s Jamarion Sharp was a player I thought about leaving off this list because he only played significant minutes during his senior season, but the seven-footer has potential off the charts as he definitely will make money playing basketball in a couple of years.
Drew McGowan, University Heights Academy (2019)
Like Trice, UHA’s Drew McGowan was a Division I athlete on the basketball court despite excelling in baseball. McGowan was a shooter who could do more than shoot. He was the motor that helped the Blazers during his final few years on the court.
Josiah Patton, Hopkinsville (2017)
Hoptown’s Josiah Patton pretty much single-handedly propelled the Tigers by Henderson County in the 2017 Second Region Tournament when he scored seven points late in the game to seal the victory. Patton was a spark plug despite not being the go-to guy for the Tigers.
CJ Henagan, Hopkinsville (2017)
CJ Henagan is another player for the Tigers that did his job and did his job well when he was called upon. Henagan averaged double digits for Hoptown his senior year and now suits up for Embry-Riddle in Florida.
Shorty Cager, Hopkinsville (2018)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’ve never seen a player go into a layup harder than Hoptown’s Shorty Cager and I still think he’s one of the more underrated players to come from the city.
Taivey Mason, Christian County (2017)
County’s Taivey Mason is a baller. It doesn’t matter where he is. He leaves everything on the court every single night. He’s excelled at every level he’s been at.
James Nicholas, Hopkinsville (2019)
Hoptown’s James Nicholas led the Tigers in points during his senior year in 2019 and was a consistent scorer throughout his time as a Tiger.