Noah to play for UK

Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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Brought to you by Harlan County Sports.

One day after announcing that he had been granted a release from his National Letter of Intent with the South Carolina Gamecocks, Harlan County all-state guard Trent Noah made it official that he would be the first Harlan Countian since Dickie Parsons in the early 1960s to play basketball for the University of Kentucky.

“Trent Noah is one of the elite shooters in this class. He is a tough, hard-nosed player with a special physicality,” said new Kentucky coach Mark Pope, who has added 10 players to the UK roster since he took over as coach. “As an eastern Kentucky native, Trent will bring a grit, toughness and determination to the program that is representative of this state. We’re looking forward to Trent joining this talented group.”

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Noah was a first-team selection in both the Lexington Herald Leader and Louisville Courier Journal all-state teams after scoring 29.9 points per game. He set the county scoring record earlier this year and finished his five-year career with 3,707 points.
In a quarterfinal win over Campbell County at the state tournament, Noah finished with 48 points for the fourth highest total in tourney history, trailing Wayland’s Kelly Coleman, who scored 68 and 50 in two 1956 games, and Clay County’s Richie Farmer, who scored 51 in the 1988 finals.

“I’ve been coming to the state tournament my whole life. I’ve watched Chris Lofton … Richie Farmer, Allan Houston, going all the way back there. He (Noah) became a legend tonight — a Sweet 16 legend,” Campbell County coach Brent Sowder said after that game. “That’s something that’s going to stay. We’re going to talk about that. I hate being on the other side of it.”

Noah also set a Boys’ Sweet 16 record by making 19 3-pointers at this year’s state tournament. The previous 3-point mark was set by Mason County’s Chris Lofton.

Noah’s 129 points across four games were the fourth-most in any Sweet 16 — behind Wayland’s Kelly Coleman (185 in 1956), Clay County’s Richie Farmer (137 in 1988) and Shawnee’s Ronnie Daniel (130 in 1973). Noah’s total scoring output was the most since Lofton scored 112 points in the 2004 tournament.

Entering this year’s state tournament, Noah was already averaging 29.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game for Harlan County, as the Black Bears won their second regional title with wins over South Laurel, Clay County and Corbin.

In reaching the state championship game, Harlan County became the first 13th Region champion since 1988 to get that far. Clay County, led by Richie Farmer, lost that year’s state championship game to a Ballard team led by future Tennessee player Allan Houston. Farmer’s Tigers won the state championship the previous year with a win over Ballard.

During his initial high school recruitment, Noah picked South Carolina from a final group of schools that also included Butler, Dayton, Saint Louis, Seton Hall, Stanford, Richmond and Western Kentucky.

Noah’s grandfather, Perky Bryant, played football at Kentucky in the early 1960s as a member of Charlie Bradshaw’s “Thin Thirty” squad before going on to a long coaching career.