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Lafayette, Vernon Hatton win Sweet Sixteen, 1953

Posted on March 18, 2018 | in Uncategorized | by

Lafayette star Vernon Hatton held the boys state championship trophy with General coach Ralph Carlisle after defeating Paducah Tilghman, 84-53 March 21, 1953 in Lexington’s Memorial Coliseum. The Generals won their third title – and second in four years – before a standing-room crowd of nearly 13,000 at the 36th annual state tournament. A record 95,000 fans attended the four-day tournament and the Generals themselves broke four tourney marks. Hatton was named to the all tournament team, averaging 19.2 ppg. Afterwards, UK basketball coach Adolph Rupp praised the 6-foot-3 junior guard as a great college prospect. Three nights later the team was honored with a parade, riding through downtown on two city fire wagons. The next year Hatton was named Kentucky’s first high school player of the year, today known as Mr. Basketball. Hatton went on to play for Rupp at UK, earning All-American honors in 1958 while leading the team in scoring. He scored 30 points in the NCAA title game win against Seattle. His No. 52 jersey is retired and a banner in his honor is hanging in Rupp Arena. Herald-Leader file photo

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