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Walton Verona: A History of Basketball

Posted at 6:24 PM, Mar 06, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18)- A Kentucky high school basketball team has a story that’s been passed down for generations and today, they wrote another chapter.

The Walton Verona boys basketball team left their mark in the history books once again…but it took 77 years for the update.

15 boys proudly took to Rupp Arena today dressed in blue and white representing the school. They are a band of brothers. It’s a brotherhood much like the last Walton Verona High School basketball team to play in the state tournament.

That was 77 years ago. Unfortunately, life was much different for those boys. Many went on to serve in WWII, including their coach who died at the Battle of the Bulge.

One living member from that 1942 is still around. Charles “Hunky” Holder was unable to attend the game, as he is now in his 90s. But his grandson says he’s always been a major part of the team.

Years ago, he would take the kids to the tournament to watch and says he was overwhelmed thinking about the impact of today.

“I almost didn’t make it through even today it’s hard to not sit out here and not have a dry eye and see this team and what they are doing,” Holder’s grandson, Larry Gilliam told LEX 18.

If the weather warms up, Holder’s granddaughter thinks they may just be able to get him to the game.

Walton-Verona did win today and they will go on to play again Friday.  This is now the farthest the team has ever gone.