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Greyhounds Recognized at 10th Region Hall of Fame Banquet

April 10, 2012
Paris High School

   The Boys’ 10th Region Coaches Association inducted nine new members to their Hall of Fame, which included Bourbon graduate Tom Leach (Contributor) and Paris Western basketball star Jim Tucker (Player). The Banquet also announced the Coaches Associations All-Region Team, which included Paris’ Aaron Jacobs (first team) and Cameron Downey (honorable mention).
   The Awards Banquet was held at Mason County High School.

 Tom Leach (Bourbon County)

   A member of Bourbon County’s Class of 1979, Leach worked as a sportswriter for the Paris Daily Enterprise and was an announcer for WBGR 1440, which covered the Paris Greyhounds and the Bourbon County Colonels athletic teams. He later worked Sweet 16 games for WVLK radio network, while winning several Eclipse Awards and Sportscaster of the Year Awards. He is currently the voice of the Wildcats for football and men’s basketball. While at Bourbon, Leach played baseball and he was named to the All-Mid State Conference Team. He led the team in RBIs and on base percentage as a senior.

   Tom has been highlighted in commercials and commentated for ESPN and NBC. He’s been seen in many commercials, hosted call-in shows because when it comes to sports, he has a wealth of knowledge.

   He started calling football games at UK in 1997, were he has called five bowl games and basketball games in 2001. Monday night, he called his first ever NCAA National Championship game between Kentucky and Kansas, as well as the memorable final four clash between Kentucky and Louisville on Saturday evening.

   Long-time Paris statistician Eugene “Puck” Puckett introduced Tom to the crowd and “Puck” told the nice gathering that was present that “the State of Kentucky is proud of Tom, but the Paris/Bourbon County community is very proud of Tom.”

   Tom is married to former WLEX News Anchor Robin Rabbeth and they have a son, Conner and a daughter, Caroline.

Jim Tucker (Paris Western)

   Tucker played for the Paris Western Tigers from 1947-1950. He led the Tigers to several championships in the late 40’s and early 50’s, which included four straight appearances in the Bluegrass Athletic League State Tournament. They placed fourth in the B.A.L. in 1950. Later on, led by Tucker’s brother Ruel, the Tigers went on to capture a National Title in 1953. Tucker, along with the late William “Chief” Reed are the only two Tigers inducted into the 10thRegion Hall of Fame.

   Legendary UK Coach the late Adolph Rupp wanted Tucker to come to UK but due to segregation he could not attend UK. Rupp contacted Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and their coach, Donald Moore, to see if they needed a player. Moore gave Tucker a scholarship without ever seeing him play, because he respected Rupp’s opinion of Tucker’s play. Tucker did, however, ended up playing in two All-Star games that were coach by Rupp.

   While at Duquesne, Tucker scored 1,091 points in three seasons. As a senior, he averaged 13.6 rebounds per game. He went on to become a Black College All-American and also helped Duquesne to a number one ranking in the AP poll, which ironically bumped UK out of the number one spot that season. The former Western star scored a career-high 43 points during his sophomore season. He went on to play in the NBA for the Syracuse Nationals and was one of the first African-American athletes to play on an NBA championship team in 1955. Two of his teammates were Dolph Schayes and Johnny “Red” Kerr. He also had a short stint with the Harlem Globetrotters, where he played with Globetrotters Legends Goose Tatum and Marcus Haynes.

   Tucker will be inducted in the Dawahare’s KHSAA Hall of Fame on Saturday April 28th, 2012.



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