As a member of the Bremen High School basketball team in the late 1970s, Ray Harper was twice the district’s player of the year.
“Every night it was a battle and there were some great rivalries. We had seven high schools in the county – there’s only one high school now,” said Harper. “It helped prepare me in the sense that you had to be ready to play every night and couldn’t take a night off and you could never underestimate your opponent."
The high schools in Muehlenberg County were consolidated into one, Bremen High School is no more, but the memories remain.
"It’s good to get back and reminisce and see those guys. We had some really good teams and some great memories that will last a lifetime,” said Harper.
Harper is in his third season as the head men’s basketball coach at Western Kentucky as a native of the commonwealth, he understands the importance of high school basketball.
“The thing I’ve always said is if you get a kid from a high school in Kentucky they’ve been coached. The learning curve isn’t as great as it is for some kids."
High school basketball in Kentucky is a big deal. There’s a Hall of Fame honoring the state’s best through the years, but right now, it’s just a collection of names. There’s no building, no permanent museum...no brick-and-mortar.