MADISONVILLE, Ky. -- A lifetime of basketball memories.
Hall of Fame member Frank Ramsey, a former All-American at
Kentucky who went on to play with the Boston Celtics in the 1950s
and 1960s, was among those whose homes were destroyed by tornadoes
that swept through western Kentucky on Tuesday.
"Had I been sitting watching TV, I would have been gone,"
Ramsey told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I don't know if I
would have been dead or not, but I certainly would have been swept
The 74-year-old Ramsey, whose son called and told him a tornado
was heading toward his home Tuesday night, hid in a closet next to
a brick fireplace just as the storms approached and electricity was
When the winds died down, the fireplace and closet were all that
remained, he said.
Ramsey, who is staying with family members, said his trophies
are missing and walls of photos have disappeared. Only one plaque
remained from his basketball glory days.
As a freshman at Kentucky, Ramsey played on the 1951 national
championship team under Adolph Rupp and also starred on the
Wildcats' undefeated 1954 squad that declined a NCAA tournament
berth. He is one of only two players in Kentucky's storied
basketball history to have received AP All-America honors three
He played nine seasons for the Celtics, helping them win seven
NBA championships and popularizing the sixth-man role. He later
spent one season as the coach of the American Basketball
Association's Kentucky Colonels.
Both Kentucky and the Celtics have retired Ramsey's jersey. He
was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in
Frank Ramsey, a former All-American at Kentucky who went on to play with the Celtics in the 1950s and '60s, was among those whose homes were destroyed Tuesday.