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The annual showdown between the best boy’s and girl’s high school basketball players in Kentucky and Indiana is set for this Friday night.

Both games are at Freedom Hall in Louisville, with the girl’s game starting at 5:30 p.m. eastern, and the boy’s following at 7:30. The four teams then play again the following night in Indianapolis.

The Kentucky boy’s team is led by the state’s Mr. Basketball winner, Dominique Hawkins of Madison Central. Members of the team from our listening area include Devonte Grundy from Bardstown and Jordan Majors of Hopkinsville.

University of Kentucky signee Derek Willis of Bullitt East is also on the team.

The Kentucky girl’s team is filled with players from our listening area, including this year’s Miss Basketball, Makayla Epps of Marion County. Her Marion County teammates Kyvin Goodin-Rogers and Logan Powell are also on the squad, along with Becca Greenwell of Owensboro Catholic, Jessica Hardin of Wayne County, and Michaela Hunter of Rockcastle County.

The Indiana boys are led by Mr. Basketball Zak Irvin, and Indiana University recruit. He's joined by fellow future Hoosiers Devin Davis and Collin Hartman. The Indiana girls feature Miss Basketball Stephanie Mavunga.

WKU Sports

The Hilltoppers have been named the Sun Belt preseason favorite in The Sporting News college football preview. WKU is followed in the ranking by Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State.

Also, senior running back Antonio Andrews has been named a preseason All-America selection by the organization.

Andrews is a third-team selection to the 2013 Sporting News All-America Team as an all-purpose player.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports that the #1 ranked Greenwood Gators of Bowling Green beat #6 Owensboro Catholic 8-0 Saturday to win the state softball championship and complete the first undefeated fast-pitch season in state history. Greenwood finished their season 44-0.

Kickoff time has been set for WKU’s season-opening football game versus Kentucky.

The Hilltoppers will open their 2013 campaign on Saturday, August 31, at 6 p.m. at L.P. Field in Nashville.

The contest will mark the first games for both teams’ head coaches—Bobby Petrino at WKU and Mark Stoops at Kentucky. The Wildcats will be looking to avenge last season’s overtime loss to WKU in Lexington.

At athletic and academic standout from Hardin County has been named the Gatorade Kentucky Baseball Player of the Year.

Central Hardin High School senior Drew Harrington is a 6'6" left-handed pitcher who has signed to play his college ball at the University of Louisville.

Harrington has helped lead Central Hardin to a 26-4 record, and is 7-0 as a starting pitcher for the Bruins. He has 89 strikeouts in 50 innings pitched this season.

The Gatorade award also recognized Harrington's 3.59 GPA.

WKU Hires New Assistant Basketball Coach

May 13, 2013
WKU Athletics

WKU head men's basketball coach Ray Harper announced Monday the hiring of 16-year collegiate coaching veteran Shawn Forrest as assistant men's basketball coach. Forrest spent the 2012-13 season at Louisiana-Lafayette, and prior to his time in Lafayette, Forrest had been an assistant coach at North Texas, Arkansas State and Troy, as well as Florida A&M.

Forrest helped the Ragin’ Cajuns to the quarterfinals of the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Tournament after coming to Louisiana-Lafayette after spending four seasons from 2008-09 to 2011-12 as an assistant coach at North Texas.

"I am really looking forward to working with Coach Harper and the rest of the staff and student-athletes here at WKU," Forrest said. "The job Coach Harper has done in the last two seasons is very impressive, and I think that WKU is one of the best basketball jobs in the country. It is not every day you get a chance to coach at a school that has been to the Final Four. I have admired this program for a while, and I could not turn down the job when Coach Harper called."

Forrest received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 1998.

Churchill Downs

The early favorite for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby is Orb at 7 to 2. Trained by Shug McGaughey,  Orb drew post position number 16 Wednesday evening at Churchill Downs.

The second favorite is Verrazano at 4 to 1. He’ll run from post position number 14. 

Verrazano is one of five Derby starters trained by Todd Pletcher.

The third choice, at 5-1, is Goldencents, trained by Doug O’Neill, who won last year with I’ll Have Another.

O’Neill  says and the horse’s owners are pleased that Goldencents will break from the number eight post.

A full field of 20 horses is entered for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

The newest member of WKU’s women’s basketball coaching staff is no stranger to head coach Michelle Clark-Heard. Candyce Bingham was a member of Louisville’s 2009 national finalist team, and played her junior and senior seasons when Clark-Heard was a U of L assistant coach.

Bingham helped lead the Cardinals to a 34-5 record and a national championship game appearance her senior season at Louisville, and was a graduate assistant at Louisville this past season. In a news release, Clark-Heard said Bingham would bring “great energy and enthusiasm” to the WKU women’s basketball coaching staff.

Kentucky News Network

The University of Kentucky says Nerlens Noel will forego his sophomore season and enter his name in the NBA Draft.

"I have loved my time at Kentucky, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA," Noel said. "I’ve learned so much here at UK and am thankful for Coach Calipari, the staff and my teammates for all of their support. I especially appreciate the Big Blue Nation and all of the support, prayers and well-wishes I’ve received from them during my rehab and decision-making process. I’ll always be a Wildcat."

Noel led the nation in blocks as he averaged 4.4 rejections per game and tallied 106 in 24 games played before a season-ending knee injury. He averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

The draft is June 27.

Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball will play his college ball at UK. Madison Central point guard Dominique Hawkins announced Wednesday morning that he was committing to the Wildcats.

WKU had hoped to land Hawkins, but the star guard will play his college hoops at Rupp Arena—the same venue where he led Madison Central to this year’s Sweet 16 state championship.

By beating Michigan 82-76 Monday night in Atlanta, Louisville won this year's Division I men's basketball championship.

In winning:

www.nationofblue.com

WKU is hoping to land the winner of this year’s Mr. Basketball award in Kentucky. Madison Central guard Dominique Hawkins will announce his college choice Wednesday morning during a school-wide assembly at the school’s gym.

Hawkins led Madison Central to this year’s Sweet 16 state championship, and has college offers from WKU, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, and several other schools. Hawkins has said he wants to play at UK, and was waiting to hear if the school would offer him a basketball scholarship.

After Wednesday's  announcement, Hawkins will help lead a team of Bluegrass State stars this weekend in the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Game in northern Kentucky.

Kentucky Wesleyan College

The men’s head basketball coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College has been offered a job at Grand Canyon University in Arizona. 

Kentucky Wesleyan Athletic Director Dave Williams confirms to the Messenger-Inquirer that Coach Lee has been offered the associate coaching job at Grand Canyon.  According to Williams, Lee is mulling over the contract and expects to make his decision today. 

Grand Canyon is in its last season as a Division-two school and will move to Division-one in the fall as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.  Kentucky Wesleyan will move from the Great Lakes Valley Conference to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference in the fall. 

Todd Lee just wrapped up his eighth season coaching at KWC.  Until this season, his teams made five straight NCAA tournament appearances.

The Louisville Cardinals are atop the college basketball world, capturing the NCAA men's championship Monday night in Atlanta.

Luke Hancock scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half and Louisville won its third national title by rallying for an 82-76 win over No. 4 Michigan. He was 13-for-18 from the field in the last two games to be named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

Peyton Siva and Chane Behanan were mostly silent in the first half before helping the Cardinals outscore the Wolverines 45-38 in the second. Siva finished with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Behanan chipped in 15 points and 13 boards.

The Wolverines were ahead 35-23 late in the first half, but the Cardinals went on a 14-3 run and led by as many as 10 in the second half en route to their first championship since 1986.

Western Kentucky senior basketball forward and football defensive end Kene Anyigbo has been arrested on marijuana possession charges.

The Warren County Regional Jail lists the 21-year-old Anyigbo as an inmate at the facility. Anyigbo also faces charges of tampering with physical evidence and failure to illuminate head lamps. His initial bond is set at $2,000. He was arrested Saturday and remained in jail Monday morning.

Jail records did not list an attorney for Anyigbo.

Western Kentucky Athletic Director Todd Stewart told The Daily News that school officials were aware of the charges.

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