Fulks, Beth named to state hall of fame
Mar 12, 2013 | 3003 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By David Green

Tribune-Courier Staff


Two Marshall Countians are among the second edition of the centennial class of the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame, announced last week in Lexington.

This year’s group, which will be enshrined on July 20 at the State Theater in Elizabethtown, includes Joe Fulks, a standout player credited by many with inventing the one-hand jump shot, and Howard Beth, Kentucky’s all-time winningest girls high school basketball coach and winner of two state championships with the Lady Marshals in 1982 and ’84.

Kentucky high school basketball will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2018. The first 100 inductees into the Hall of Fame are part of the centennial class, which will be complete that year.

Fulks was born in Birmingham, an eastern Marshall County community which was covered by the waters of Kentucky Lake after Kentucky Dam was completed. Reports conflict over whether Fulks played at Birmingham or Kuttawa high school.

He played two years at Murray State University in the early 1940s, averaging 13.2 points per game and helping the Thoroughbreds compile a 39-9 record during his two varsity seasons before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1943 during World War II.

After the war, Fulks, a 6-5 forward, played professionally in the Basketball Association of America, the forerunner of the modern National Basketball Association, with the Philadelphia Warriors.

He was league scoring leader on the BAA championship team in 1947 and was a two-time all-star, scoring 8,003 points and grabbing 1,379 rebounds in his career.

He died in 1976 at age 54.

He is a member of the MSU Athletic Hall of Fame, inducted in 1965, and the Marshall County Athletic Hall of Fame, which included him in its inaugural group of inductees in 2009. He was also named to the NBA’s Silver Anniversary Team.

Beth, 63, was head coach of the Lady Marshals for 30 years before stepping down at the end of the 2009-2010 season. His teams won 793 games with 150 losses, and claimed 19 region championships, including 11 in a row from 1981 through 1991, and 23 Fourth District titles.

Beth played at North Marshall High School and was a member of the First Region champion Jets team that year.

Beth leads Randy Napier, still active as coach at Perry County Central with a career total of 775 wins and 220 losses after his team was defeated by Letcher County Central, Thursday’s opponent for Marshall County in the state tournament at Bowling Green.

Beth is third overall among Kentucky high school coaches, behind boys coaches William Kean of Louisville Central (856-83 over 31 seasons) and Billy Hicks, 817-241 after this season, his 32nd, at Scott County.

Kean is a fellow member of this year’s class of hall of fame inductees.

Other inductees in this class include:

Howard Crittenden, Cuba

Linville Puckett, Clark County

Johnny Cox, Hazard

Billy Ray Lickert, Lexington Lafayette

Larry Conley, Ashland

Alfred “Butch” Beard, Breckinridge County

Mike Casey, Shelby County

Donna Murphy, Newport

Sharon Garland, Laurel County

Allan Houston, Louisville Ballard

Jaime Walz-Richey, Fort Thomas Highlands

J.R. VanHoose, Paintsville

Coach William Kean, Louisville Central

Coach Letcher Norton, Clark County and Trapp

Coach Bobby Watson, Owensboro

Last year’s first edition of centennial class inductees included:

“King” Kelly Coleman, Wayland

Wes Unseld,Louisville Seneca

Jim McDaniels, Allen County

Darrell Griffith, Louisville Male

Geri Grigsby, McDowell

Clemette Haskins, Warren Central

Rex Chapman, Owensboro Apollo

Richie Farmer, Clay County

Coach Bobby Keith, Clay County

Coach Roy Bowling, Laurel County

Coach S.T. Roach, Lexington Dunbar

Cliff Hagan, Owensboro

Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, Harlan

Ralph Beard, Louisville Male

Coach Ralph Carlisle, Lexington Lafayette

Clem Haskins, Taylor County
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