Wall, Hacker to be inducted into UK Athletics Hall of Fame

Ralph Hacker was the radio play-by-play voice of the Kentucky basketball team for eight years following the retirement of legendary broadcaster Cawood Ledford. Surely, he would have loved calling games with John Wall racing up and down Rupp Arena.

Wall wouldn’t come to Lexington until the 2009-10 season, but now both Kentucky legends will enter the UK Athletics Hall of Fame together.

The UK Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2017 was announced Monday. The six-athlete class includes Wall, Hacker, Randall Cobb (football), Collin Cowgill (baseball), Sherry Hoover Bordner (cross country/indoor track/outdoor track) and Sarah Rumely (volleyball).

John Wall is one of six members of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2017. (photo by UK Athletics)

The 2017 class is set to be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 22-23, in conjunction with the football home game against Florida.

Wall, who was one of the first recruits to join head coach John Calipari at Kentucky, is the first Calipari-coached player to be inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame. From his famous dance during Big Blue Madness in 2009, to the game-winner in his collegiate debut, the single-game UK assists record, and his tackling of teammate DeMarcus Cousins in the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game, Wall’s single-season at UK in 2009-10 will never be forgotten.

A consensus first-team All-American, Wall dazzled fans game after game with his speed and quickness on the court. The electric guard helped guide Kentucky to the 2010 SEC regular-season and tournament championships, setting the UK single-season assists record (241) along the way. Wall finished the year averaging 16.6 points and 6.5 assists per game.

For his play, Wall became the first Wildcat to win the Adolph Rupp Trophy, presented to the national player of the year. Additionally, he was named the SEC Player of the Year by the Associated Press and the league’s head coaches, the National Freshman of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers’ Association, the SEC Freshman of the Year by the AP and the SEC Tournament MVP.

Wall became the first Wildcat to win the Adolph Rupp Trophy, presented to the national player of the year. He was also the first UK player to be taken No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft. (photo by Aaron Borton, UK Athletics)

After his one season at Kentucky, Wall became the first Wildcat to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Since then, he has been named an NBA All-Star four times and has averaged 16-plus points per game all seven seasons he’s been in the league. He holds the career records for assists and steals in the history of the Washington Wizards’ franchise.

Wall enjoyed his best professional season this past year, earning All-NBA Third Team honors for the first time. The 6-foot-4 guard became the first player in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 10 assists, four rebounds, two steals and 0.5 blocks per game.

Hacker spent 34 years with the UK Radio Network, calling three men’s basketball national championships, seven Final Fours and four football bowl games. After serving as the men’s basketball analyst with Ledford for many years, Hacker took over play-by-play duties following Ledford’s retirement and called UK’s 1996 and 1998 national championships. He was also the play-by-play voice for the UK football team for five seasons. Hacker was the president of HMH Broadcasting, building a network that featured WVLK, which was the UK flagship station at the time.

The UK Athletics Hall of Fame was started in 2005 to recognize and honor persons whose participation and achievements enriched and strengthened the University’s athletics program. The charter class included 88 individuals who had previously had their jersey retired by UK.

There is a five-year waiting period after leaving UK to be eligible for inclusion into the Hall of Fame. A committee consisting of Hall of Famers, media members, campus representatives and current coaches and administrators elects new inductees each year.

UK Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Randall Cobb (football)
Collin Cowgill (baseball)
Ralph Hacker (broadcaster)
Sherry Hoover Bordner (cross country/indoor track/outdoor track)
Sarah Rumely (volleyball)
John Wall (men’s basketball)